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SITUATION RECAP of the last SAR Operations

Last update 17/06/2018 – 14:30 (All times in UTC+2)

– Aquarius rescued 230 people from 2 rubber boats in distress off coast Libya during the night between the 09th and the 10th of June.
– The second boat in distress was sinking during the rescue operation.
– 400 survivors have been transferred onboard Aquarius from a cargo ship and 3 Italian governmental ships.
– The Aquarius stand-by 48 hours between Malta and Italy.
– 524 survivors have been transfered onboard 2 gouvernemental ships, which braught them in convoy, together with Aquarius (with 106 survivors remaining onboard) to a place of safety in Valencia (Spain).
– After cross-checking testimonies from the survivors, the Aquarius reported 2 missing people on the group of survivors.
– All the operations were under the responsibility of the MRCC Rome, from the first distress alert until the disembarkation in Spain.

June 9, 2018
14:45

Distress alert: EUNAVFOR Med aircraft spotted a rubber boat

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Received information that rubber boat has been spotted by EUNAVFOR MED aircraft and confirmed to be adrift in abovementioned…

Received information that rubber boat has been spotted by EUNAVFOR MED aircraft and confirmed to be adrift in abovementioned position. Received information that MV Asso Ventiquattro is OSC for SAR case 391 and is proceeding to distress psn with ETA 18:00B. Received information that MT Anwar Al Khalij (Libyan flag) has been tasked to proceed to ditress position

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17:35

Distress alert: Italian MRCC reports to Aquarius 2 rubber boats in distress with 120 people onboard each (SAR Case 392 and 393)

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius received a phone call from ITMRCC with information that 2 rubber boats with about 120 persons on board…

Aquarius received a phone call from ITMRCC with information that 2 rubber boats with about 120 persons on board each have been spotted few minutes before by EUNAVFOR MED aircraft in position 33°41’N 013°57’E.

Vessel position 34°08’N 013°52’E. Both rubber boats reported to be underway heading north at approx. 4 kts. Designated SAR cases 392 and 393. MV Aquarius instructed to proceed to perform rescue operation on these 2 rubber boats.

Latitude: 33.683
Longitude: 13.95
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19:40

SAR Case 392/393: Radar and visual contact on targets – Instruction to rescue

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Vsl psn 33°45.7’N 013°56.9’E radar and visual contact with 2 targets in psn 33°45.5’N 013°57.0’E, approx. 4 Nm from…

Vsl psn 33°45.7’N 013°56.9’E radar and visual contact with 2 targets in psn 33°45.5’N 013°57.0’E, approx. 4 Nm from MV Aquarius. Sat phone call to IMRCC to report, received confirmation to initiate rescue operation.

Weather on scene: wind N 5 kts, waves less than 0,5 m, temperature 23°C, good visibility.

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20:55

SAR Cae 395: Italian RCC instructs Aquarius to tranfer 405 people from a cargo ship and 3 Italian Coast Guard ships

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Received written instruction via email from IMRCC to transship onto MV Aquarius n. 119 migrants on board of M/V…

Received written instruction via email from IMRCC to transship onto MV Aquarius n. 119 migrants on board of M/V JOLLY VANADIO (case EV SAR n. 395), n. 286 migrants from Italian CPVs CP319, CP 267, CP 312, (cases EV SAR n. 386, n. 388, n. 390 ) upon completion of ongoing rescue operation.

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June 10, 2018
03:16

SAR Case 386: Completed transfer of 88 survivors from CP267

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

88 survivors rescued by MV Vos Thalassa and transfered onboard CP267 earlier during the night Sat phone call to IMRCC…

88 survivors rescued by MV Vos Thalassa and transfered onboard CP267 earlier during the night

Sat phone call to IMRCC to report situation. Agreed to perform the transfer operation of rescued people from MV Jolly Vanadio using the landing craft LCM68 from Italian Navy ship San Giusto.

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05:16

Aquarius reports to Italian RCC the completion of the transfers

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Excerpt of the email from Aquarius to Italian RCC : Please be informed that according to your instruction reported…

Excerpt of the email from Aquarius to Italian RCC :

Please be informed that according to your instruction reported below, MV Aquarius has carried out the following rescue operations:

229 persons successfully recovered from 2 rubber boats (SAR cases 392 and 393)

also according to your instructions, MV Aquarius carried out the following transfer operations:

– from ITCG CP312: 129 rescued persons (SAR case 388)

– from ITCG CP319: 64 rescued persons (SAR case 390)

– from ITCG CP267: 88 rescued persons (SAR case 386)

– from MV Jolly Vanadio: 119 rescued persons (SAR case 395)

Total number of rescued persons on board is 629.

As per your recent instruction received via Sat. phone MV Aquarius is now heading North.

Please provide with information on the place of safety for the disembarkation of the rescued persons.

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21:00

Aquarius urges Italian RCC to designate a place of safety for the survivors

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC. MV Aquarius acknowledges that PoS is not defined yet and…

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC. MV Aquarius acknowledges that PoS is not defined yet and urges IMRCC for designation of PoS, informing that “In two hours the vessel will be halfway between Malta and Sicily, and it would be very unfortunate that the vessel stopped awaiting for your further instructions as it would delay the safe disembarkation of the rescued people, also taking in consideration the high number of people on board which will soon challenge the supplies of food”

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21:30

Italian RCC instructs Aquarius to stop

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Received email from IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC, with instruction to stop the vessel in her current position…

Received email from IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC, with instruction to stop the vessel in her current position (36°05’N 015°05’E), awaiting for further instruction regarding the PoS.

Latitude: 36.0666667
Longitude: 15.083333333333
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June 11, 2018
09:50

Aquarius informs Italian RCC that the health condition of survivors is at risk to deteriorate

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC, informing that health condition of rescued people on board MV…

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC, informing that health condition of rescued people on board MV Aquarius is at risk of deterioration over the next hours and requesting to take in the highest consideration the food supply situation. Taking note of RCC Malta message and urging to take immediate action to indicate a PoS.

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12:12

Italian RCC requests information about survivors

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

ITMRCC requests Aquarius by satellite phone to provide data about the number of unaccompanied minors, of pregnant women and…

ITMRCC requests Aquarius by satellite phone to provide data about the number of unaccompanied minors, of pregnant women and of minors accompanied only by one adult. ITMRCC informs the Aquarius of potential transhipment operation from Aquarius to Italian coast guard ships and requests availability of Aquarius’ RHIB.

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13:01

Aquarius urges Italian RCC to designated a place of safety

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC. MV Aquarius stresses that the requested information will be provided…

Sent email to IMRCC, with concerned parties in CC. MV Aquarius stresses that the requested information will be provided as soon as practicable and that besides food supplies issues, consideration should be taken for safety of the ship, sanitation and exposure of the rescued people. Stressing the urgent need to proceed to PoS asap.

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13:08

Maltese RCC recommends Italian MRCC to authorise Aquarius to proceed North

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

The Maltese RCC sends email to the Italian MRCC copying Aquarius. It denies responsibility in the potential worsening of…

The Maltese RCC sends email to the Italian MRCC copying Aquarius. It denies responsibility in the potential worsening of conditions onboard Aquarius and recommends Italian MRCC to authorise Aquarius to proceed North until a place of safety is assigned by the Italian MRCC as coordinating authority.

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13:19

Aquarius reports to Italian RCC the number of unaccompanied minors and pregnant women

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

The Aquarius sends an email to the Italian MRCC, copying concerned parties, to report the number of unaccompanied minors…

The Aquarius sends an email to the Italian MRCC, copying concerned parties, to report the number of unaccompanied minors and pregnant women on board, confirm that the number of minors accompanied by a single parent is unavailable, and sending the demographic breakdown of survivors on board. It also confirms that the RHIBs of Aquarius are unavailable to operate.

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14:42

Italian MRCC calls Aquarius informing that Italian Coast Guard will get ready to transship pregnant women

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

The Italian MRCC calls Aquarius informing that Italian Coast Guard CP 325 and CP 276 approaching to get ready…

The Italian MRCC calls Aquarius informing that Italian Coast Guard CP 325 and CP 276 approaching to get ready for the transshipment of the pregnant women from the Aquarius onto the Italian Coast Guard vessels if necessary.

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15:25

Visual, radar and VHF contact with CP325 and CP276

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Visual, radar and VHF contact with CP325 and CP276 MV Aquarius requests to maintain minimum distance 3 NM in…

Visual, radar and VHF contact with CP325 and CP276

MV Aquarius requests to maintain minimum distance 3 NM in order to maintain adequate crowd control on the rescued people on board. Transfer of the pregnant women raises issues of both consent and of accompanying family members not authorised to be transferred along. Therefore on hold. Various communications with IMRCC and CP325 / CP276 on this subject until evening.

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18:30

Aquarius informs the Italian RCC about the medical condition of pregnant women

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius sends email to Italian MRCC, copying concerned parties, to inform of the medical conditions of pregnant women on…

Aquarius sends email to Italian MRCC, copying concerned parties, to inform of the medical conditions of pregnant women on board and request additional information.

Email excerpt:

From: Aquarius

To: Italian MRCC

“Please be informed that we have 6 pregnant women on board at this time. Only 2 need immediate medical attention and would benefit from prompt onshore attention.

The other 4 are stable and from a medical perspective we do not consider their pregnancy as a disease or condition that requires evacuation and therefore we have not requested this for these asymptomatic pregnant women.

3 of the pregnant women have their husbands onboard and one of the husbands is a medical case.

Before any disembarkation of any persons, the individual must fully consent and in order to do this we must explain to them what will happen after their arrival in Italy, both medically and in terms of the asylum process.

Please inform me of these details so we can make an informed consent process with each individual as we do for any medical evacuation.

  • To which hospital and location will the women be evacuated?
  • What is the medical capacity on board the evacuation vessel in regards to medical equipment and staff?
  • Will the husbands be able to evacuate with the women?
  • Will the evacuees be able to enter the normal asylum process as is their right?

As soon as we have this clear information from you we will be able to make an informed and shared decision with the patients as to whether they will be evacuated.”

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20:56

Aquarius acknowledges the Spanish RCC the availibility of Valencia to receive the survivors

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius sends email to Spanish MRCC, copying Italian MRCC and other concerned parties, acknowledging receipt of availability to receive…

Aquarius sends email to Spanish MRCC, copying Italian MRCC and other concerned parties, acknowledging receipt of availability to receive Aquarius in Valencia and informing that due to overcrowded conditions, safety and security concerns, Aquarius can only sail safely to Spain with a maximum of 100 survivors.

Email excerpt

From: Aquarius

To: Spanish MRCC

” Please be informed that from beginning of SAR operations we are still under full coordination of MRCC Rome, who instructed me as a Master to receive on board 400 people from three Italian Coast Guard vessels and one Italian flagged merchant ship, apart of 229 persons rescued at sea by MV Aquarius. Total amount of rescued persons on board is 629.

Presently my vessel is in overcrowded condition, only women and children are accommodated inside accommodation and all 541 men are accommodated on open weather decks. Therefore it is unsafe for proposed voyage from my present location to Valencia under the present conditions. It would be unsafe also for the ship and her crew to afford such a long transit under these conditions.

Please take in consideration that the weather forecast is showing condition to deteriorate in the next days.

The vessel is in shortage of food supplies for such a large amount of people and the life saving appliances do not cover all persons currently on board.

Maintaining all these people on board for an extended period of time may raise security concerns as well.

All rescued persons are at sea already over 72 hrs and they are in need of being delivered to a safe port as soon as possible without any further delay.

All above considered, only condition under which MV Aquarius could safely sail to Spain is with a maximum number of rescued persons of 100 after transfer of exceeding passengers.

Under these circumstances I  would appreciate if you could coordinate with MRCC Rome to provide me with an option which takes in the utmost consideration the safety of my ship, her crew and all the rescued persons on board.

Informing MRCC Madrid that MV Aquarius is under full coordination of MRCC Rome. Informing that due to overcrowded condition, safety and security concerns, MV Aquarius can only sail safely to Spain with a maximum number of rescued people of 100. Requesting MRCC Madrid to coordinate with MRCC Rome.”

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23:29

Spanish MRCC informs Aquarius that Spanish Maritime Authorities also grant port of Palma de Mallorca

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Spanish MRCC informs Aquarius via email that Spanish Maritime Authorities will also grant the port of Palma de Mallorca…

Spanish MRCC informs Aquarius via email that Spanish Maritime Authorities will also grant the port of Palma de Mallorca to receive Aquarius, and requests information on the most urgent needs regarding the humanitarian situation on board.

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23:43

Italian MRCC informs Aquarius of food resupply and transshipment of survivors to Italian gouvernemental ships the following morning

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Italian MRCC calls Aquarius informing of food resupply around 06:00-07:00 on the following morning and of a planned transshipment

Italian MRCC calls Aquarius informing of food resupply around 06:00-07:00 on the following morning and of a planned transshipment of about 500 survivors from Aquarius to two Italian Navy and Coast Guard ships scheduled on following morning.

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23:52

Italian MRCC informs Aquarius of details about resupply, transshipment and place of safety

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Italian MRCC informs Aquarius of details about resupply, scheduled at 06:30 from SV Nos Arries by 3 shuttles via…

Italian MRCC informs Aquarius of details about resupply, scheduled at 06:30 from SV Nos Arries by 3 shuttles via workboat, and transshipment of rescued people to take place afterwards. It also informs that the PoS and place of safety will be Valencia or Mallorca.

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June 12, 2018
00:33

Aquarius acknowledges the availibility of Spain to take the survivors

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Acknowledging the availability of Mallorca and stressing that Aquarius is in contact and under the coordination of IMRCC, who…

Acknowledging the availability of Mallorca and stressing that Aquarius is in contact and under the coordination of IMRCC, who is informed of the need for Aquarius to transship a part of the rescued people before commencing any long range voyage. Informing MRCC Madrid of the current medical situation on board and the needs of humanitarian care supplies, as already sent to IMRCC.

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03:30

Italian RCC informs Aquarius about the designation of the ships in charge of the transit to Spain in convoy

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius received phone call from ITMRCC regarding transshipment operation of rescued people from Aquarius to IT CG CP940 (Nave…

Aquarius received phone call from ITMRCC regarding transshipment operation of rescued people from Aquarius to IT CG CP940 (Nave Dattilo) and IT Navy P410 (Nave Orione).

Expected rescued people remaining on board Aquarius after transhipment approx. 100/120 to be disembarked in PoS Valencia or Mallorca. Aquarius requests to ITMRCC to provide with information on the capabilities of the military ships.

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09:18

Aquarius informs Italian RCC about the preparation needs for transshipment

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius sends email to ITMRCC, with concerned parties in CC. Informing that preparation of transhipment operation will take some time…

Aquarius sends email to ITMRCC, with concerned parties in CC.

Informing that preparation of transhipment operation will take some time as the rescued people need to be fed first, then properly briefed on the forthcoming transhipment and voyage to Spain.

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20:20

Aquarius confirms to Italian RCC to be ready to proceed to Valencia, no medical emergency

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Aquarius sent an email to ITMRCC informing that after consultation of medical doctor and midwife on board there is…

Aquarius sent an email to ITMRCC informing that after consultation of medical doctor and midwife on board there is no need of medical evacuation of the pregnant women.

MV Aquarius ready to proceed to Valencia upon instruction of CP940 as OSC.

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21:00

Start transit to Valencia in convoy

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Commence sea passage in convoy with Italian Coastguard vessel CP940 and Italian Navy ship Orione P410. The Italian RCC designated…

Commence sea passage in convoy with Italian Coastguard vessel CP940 and Italian Navy ship Orione P410. The Italian RCC designated the Italian coastguard vessel CP940 as OSC. CP940 will lead the convoy, Aquarius in the middle, Italian navy ship Orione will follow. Safety distance of 1 Nautical miles between the ships. Working channel will be VHF 72.

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June 13, 2018
June 14, 2018
21:23

Aquarius reports to Italian RCC that after cross-checking testimonies, 2 people are missing from the group of survivors

SAR Operations > Valencia (2018.06.09-17)

Sent email to ITMRCC, informing that by cross-checking testimonies recently collected on board from the people rescued in SAR

Sent email to ITMRCC, informing that by cross-checking testimonies recently collected on board from the people rescued in SAR events 392/393, it is confirmed that two people are reported missing.

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June 16, 2018
June 17, 2018