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An investigation opened in Italy into a possible refusal of rescue by a US ship

(B2) The prosecutor of Ragusa (Italy) has opened an investigation into the sinking which occurred on June 12 of a boat coming from Libya with more than 100 people on board. 76 migrants died of drowning, the daily reported at the end of October Republic.

(credit: US Navy Europe)

This investigation follows the statements collected by the Italian daily. Six of the recovered migrants did, in fact, claim to have seen a US Navy ship " so close to see his pavilion and be seen ". At this time, the migrant and refugee boat was still floating.

A ship that sails away despite calls

They " all waved colorful clothes together, whistled and shouted ". Their 'captain' tried to follow and pass the ship for at least an hour, but the ship moved away and disappeared ". It was only afterward that the Trenton (T-EPF-5), a Spearhead-class fast transport ship belonging to the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy (based in Naples), was able to recover 40 survivors, twenty miles from the Libyan coast.

First save the living

« During the operation, the Trenton crew initially observed approximately 12 bodies in the water that appeared unresponsive said the US Navy in a communicated. " The crew prioritized the recovery of those who needed immediate assistance. Rigid hull inflatable boats and a fast rescue boat conducted a search but were unable to locate them or find others at the scene »

A difficult landing

The American sailors then had some difficulty getting the survivors accepted by Italy. We found ourselves in the midst of an offensive by the government of Rome, made up of the 5 Stars and the Northern League, against the ships of the NGOs and the Aquarius affair. It took the ship five days to obtain an agreement. A first request to the ship from the German NGO Sea Watch, had failed. The US ship, which was not far from the port of Augusta, then requested permission to disembark. It was only on June 17 that the survivors were able to be transferred, off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, to the Italian coast guard ship. Diciotti (Read : The Diciotti affair, the Italian coast guard taken hostage)


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).

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