Tripoli, 1 November 2013:
The EU’s border assistance mission to Libya (EUBAM Libya) has praised the Libyan Naval Coastguard after it rescued . . .[restrict]150 migrants stranded in a rubber dinghy.
The Coastguard sent two 12-metre Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) to rescue the migrants on Wednesday, after receiving an emergency call. The dinghy’s engine had failed, leaving the boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea some 120 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. Women and children were transferred into one of the Libyan vessels and the dinghy, with the other migrants on board, was towed back to Libya.
“I would like to praise the actions of the Coastguard and the crews involved in this rescue,” said EUBAM Libya’s Naval Coastguard Trainer David Aquilina. “With limited capabilities, they showed courage and commitment, and risked their own lives, in carrying out this action.”
Members of the Coastguard are currently taking part in an initial three-week training programme organised by EUBAM Libya.
“Whilst a great deal of work lies ahead, this rescue shows the determination of the Libyan Naval Coastguard to make a real difference in maritime safety and security,” said the Head of Mission for EUBAM, Antti Hartikainen. “EUBAM is working very well with its local counterparts to deal with the very real challenges that lie ahead in border security,” he added.
EUBAM Libya has been working in the country since May 2013, on the invitation of the Libyan Government. The mission mentors, trains and advises Libyans working in various areas of border security on ways to strengthen Libya’s land, sea and air borders. [/restrict]