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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Central Mediterranean News

Photo courtesy of Valletta Cruise Port

Valletta Cruise Port Sets Record

Valletta Cruise Port has welcomed a record 900,000 cruise passenger movements.A lucky recipient, who arrived in the Port of Valletta aboard the MSC Grandiosa, was the designated 900,000th passenger and given the opportunity to return to Malta in the near future with a 2-day break in Malta inclusive of flights for two persons, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.Valletta Cruise Port is strategically located in the central Mediterranean, and anticipating closing the year 2019 with record passenger movements of approximately 906,000 passenger movements aboard 373 calls.

Nearly 600 people have died or gone missing on the Central Mediterranean in 2019.  © UNHCR/Markel Redondo

UNHCR Urges Europe to Allow Immigrants to Dock

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has sent an appeal to the European governments to allow 507 people recently rescued from the Mediterranean and now stranded at sea to leave the vessels.Many are reportedly survivors of appalling abuses in Libya and are from refugee-producing countries. They are in need of humanitarian assistance and some have already expressed an intention to seek international protection.“This is a race against time,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. “Storms are coming and conditions are only going to get worse.

Photo: International Maritime Organization

Smartphone App Aims to Aid Migrant Sea Rescues

A smartphone application that allows users to scan the Mediterranean for boats in distress is being tested by a migrant rescue service, which hopes that crowdsourced information will help it save more people. The I SEA App, available on iTunes, divides a satellite image of the sea route migrants are taking into millions of small plots which are, in turn, assigned to registered users. Each user then monitors their plot through the app and can send an alert to the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and the authorities if they spot potential trouble.

Migrants in Dinghies Photo IMO

Record Number of Migrants Killed Crossing Mediterranean

More than 3,770 migrants and refugees died in 2015 trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, making the year the deadliest on record for those seeking sanctuary from conflict and poverty, an international migration group said on Thursday. Most of those deaths occurred along a perilous central Mediterranean route used by smugglers operating out of Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The deadliest month was April, when nearly 1…

Photo: Public Affairs Office, NATO Shipping Centre

Nato Begins DYMA 15 Submarine Warfare Exercise

NATO’s Submarine Warfare Exercise DYNAMIC MANTA 2015 (DYMA 15) began friday off the Sicilian coast, with ships, submarines, and aircraft and personnel from 9 Allied nations converging on the Central Mediterranean Sea for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare training. Submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, under the control of NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), will join 5 surface ships from France, Germany…

Picture showing the Costa Concordia with Salina Bay to the right

EMSA Vessel to Assists with Bunker Oil Removal

The EMSA-contracted Stand by Oil Spill Response Vessel Salina Bay arrived this weekend on site of the Costa Concordia to assist SMIT Salvage, who is in charge of the bunker removal and pollution response operations. Preparations are on-going for the removal of the bunker oil from the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia. The Salina Bay will be -as a precautionary measure- on stand-by during this operation over the next weeks. The Salina Bay is equipped with several oil recovery systems, as booms, skimmer, sweeping arms and a dedicated radar slick detection system.