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The German Navy to the aid of refugees in the Mediterranean. The Royal Navy too!

The support ship "Berlin" in a rescue operation in the Mediterranean (credit: German navy)
The support ship “Berlin” in rescue operation in the Mediterranean (credit: German Navy)

(B2) The two ships of the German navy, present in the Mediterranean, intervened to the aid of 419 refugees and migrants on Friday (8 May), off the coast of Libya. This is the first notable intervention by the German navy in the operation to reinforce the Frontex rescue operations, set up after the summit of April 23 (see also: Reinforcements in the Mediterranean. Britain: 0 France: 1 Germany: 2 Who says better?)

Three sinking ships

The German ships had been "aalerted by the Italian Navy rescue center in Rome on Friday morning, after discovering the presence of 224 people on a wooden boat, obviously not seaworthy at  28 nautical miles (approx. 50 km) Libyan coasts says my colleague Thomas Wiegold from Augengeradenaus (*). " The Hessen headed to the position and began, shortly before noon, to pick up the people. The support ship Berlin was sent a few hours later to another position, further east, about 40 nautical miles (about 75 km) north of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where there were two boats with 195 total people on board. »

Brought back to Italy

Those rescued were brought ashore in Italy at the port of Reggio Calabria. The use of law at sea provides that rescued people are brought back to a safe port or asylum. The rule negotiated between the European forces assisting the Italians is that even if they are picked up by ships flying a flag other than Italian, the refugees or migrants are disembarked in Italy, the latter ensuring the registration of the migrants and the processing of asylum applications from refugees.

110 people rescued by British Navy

(shift) Note that the HMS Bulwark of the Royal Navy rescued a boat on which 7 people were present on Thursday (May 110). " The individuals were rescued using the Bulwark's landing craft before being transferred to an Italian Coast Guard vessel and disembarked ashore. said a UK MOD spokesperson.


(*) Augengeradenaus is a specialized defense site, with which B2 has information transfer agreements.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).