Once they got off, the immigrants were taken to the now full reception centers in Sicily. During the operation, two alleged smugglers from Sierra Leone were also placed in custody by the judicial authorities.
The commander of the ship Sirio, the captain of frigate Marco Bilardi, explained to us how they saved 340 migrants: "In coordination with the Euro ship, we intervened to tranship on us 66 people saved by the Euro and we brought them here to the port of Augusta: On the first boat were 274 37 women and 5 small children.The sea was calm.Night, without lighting, it was difficult to locate them in the sea.When we approached they called our attention with intermittent flashes that permission to locate the boat ".
The commander of the amphibious ship San Giusto, ship captain Mario Mattesi, said that "there are a few months old children and a two year old girl on board. The only problem was a death that was found during an evening event. : we have recovered three people on board, one already deceased upon arrival and the other two in critical condition. One was resuscitated and, transported to the Cannizzaro hospital in Catania with burns, is now fine while the second was in more stable conditions. It would seem "- adds Mattesi -" from what we have been able to ascertain that both the death, that the problems encountered are due to the inhalation of hydrocarbons, the gasoline that was in the rafts. The boats always transport different milk, we do not know still the dynamics that caused death and burns. Nationality is yet to be ascertained but they are certainly sub-Saharanians, from Mali or in any case from areas in unstable government conditions. at Fondazione Rava and Mrs. Di Cosimo we assisted four pregnant women, one of whom was in the ninth month of pregnancy and with contractions, who was transported to the hospital in Lentini. I also want to underline the support of the Police on board with Chief Inspector Olivero at the head of a task force that allows you to work closely with the people who are recovered. Their work, like that of the health workers, is fundamental because it allows, as far as possible, an immediate identification. We can thus identify the alleged smugglers and proceed with the subsequent investigations. We recovered 12 dinghies and they were rescued between 18 and 19 March which was the peak time of dinghies that we recorded this even in good weather conditions. The police team usually consists of 14 officers who identify the shipwrecked by examining the videos recorded during the rescue and subsequently questioning the passengers. "
Inspector Olivero added that "they have proceeded to the identification of various nationalities among the migrants recovered in the stretch of water of the Mediterranean. The activity is very careful and scrupulous. We try to do our part ".
Dr. Carlotta Sami of the UNCHR, summing up, states that "there are more than 5000 people who have arrived in the last 72 hours in different ports of Sicily. It is certainly a difficult situation that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees since January warns it would occur. We have been very explicit in saying that the operation Mare Nostrum is an excellent operation by the Italian government that allowed to save about 15 thousand people at sea that otherwise would have found death very definitely. They are people who flee from wars, from dictatorships. Syrians, Eritreans, Somalis flee the war and are willing to take great risks. The situation of minors is critical because there are so many unaccompanied. There are few centers in Italy suitable to accommodate minors. Often children and young girls must receive specific assistance: they have gone through traumatizing experiences before arriving in Italy. What the High Commissioner for Refugees points out is that a contingency plan is needed at European level. This is not the border of Italy, it is a European border. It can not be only Italy with the structures that are there to cope with all this. The Lampedusa structure has not yet reopened and is undergoing renovation ".
Except for Pappalardo
(photo of the author)