47 Shipwrecked People Landed in Livorno


An EMERGENCY Life Support ship carrying 47 people shipwrecked off the Libyan coast disembarked at Tuscany’s port of Livorno on Sunday, June 30 at 8:45 am.

The rescue itself took place on Wednesday, June 26 in the Libyan search and rescue zone, an area in the Central Mediterranean qualifying as international waters. Of the 47 shipwrecked, there were 39 men, three women and five unaccompanied minors from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Eritrea, Bangladesh, South Sudan and Sudan on a rubber dinghy lost off the Libyan coast, according to a press release

Having originally departed from the Libyan town of Zwara, the boat in distress was first spotted from the Life Support bridge following a report from the Frontex Sparrow 4 aircraft, which EU Member States have designated for combatting cross-border crime and search and rescues. According to a 22-year-old rescuee from Bangladesh, the group of migrants was forced to board the dinghy around midnight.

“… It didn’t seem safe but we had no choice,” the rescuee said in the press release. “After a few hours of sailing we were lost in the middle of the sea, until we saw a plane: after two hours [EMERGENCY] arrived.”

Life Support received several reports of distress from sea refugee hotline Alarm Phone, Frontex’s Sparrow 3 aircraft and international distress frequency VHF channel 16 while sailing to the assigned port of Livorno. Although they were willing to intervene, authorization to do so was not provided by the Italian MRCC (Maritime Rescue Control Centre). Because of this, Life Support proceeded to the port of Livorno without the possibility of investigating the reports, one of which had come from about 10 miles away from the shipwreck.

The Life Support ship is currently docked at Calata Carrara, quay 75. In accordance with policy, doctors are to carry out health checks and immigration police will begin identification before migrants can be transferred to reception centers in Piedmont, which offer asylum to migrants in Italy.

“After three and a half days of navigation we have arrived in the port of Livorno where the disembarkation operations have just ended thanks to the full collaboration with the local authorities,” Carlo Maisano, head of mission of EMERGENCY Life Support said in the press release. “Now we are starting to prepare the ship for a new mission in the central Mediterranean where Life Support will continue to carry out its search and rescue activities to save lives and bring people to a safe country.”

This rescue marks the fourth Life Support ship assigned to the port of Livorno for disembarkation since its search and rescue missions at sea began in December 2022. Life Support, having now completed 31 rescues taking place during 20 different missions, has saved a total of 1,678 people throughout its more than one and a half year span. (Kyla Pehr)