- Title: Around 1,100 rescued migrants arrive in Italy
- Date: 24th October 2016
- Summary: PALERMO, ITALY (OCTOBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) MIGRANTS WRAPPED IN BLANKETS WALKING DOWN GANGPLANK, DISEMBARKING NORWEGIAN RESCUE VESSEL SIEM PILOT MIGRANT WALKING DOWN GANGPLANK DISABLED MIGRANT DISEMBARKING SHIP AND EMERGENCY WORKERS PREPARING WHEELCHAIR FOR HIM FEMALE MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING FROM SHIP RESCUERS CARRYING MIGRANT ON STRETCHER OFF SHIP EMERGENCY WORKERS ON QUAY BY SHIP (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIEM PILOT FORCE COMMANDER PAL ERIK TEIGEN SAYING: "I wouldn't say killed, I don't know but we have four dead people that are from Sea Watch from the day before and they drowned in some happening with the Libyan coast guard. That's all I know." VARIOUS OF NUMBERED COFFINS ON QUAYSIDE COFFIN BEING CARRIED DOWN GANGPLANK ANOTHER COFFIN BEING CARRIED DOWN GANGPLANK RESCUERS CARRYING EMPTY COFFIN ONBOARD SHIP COFFIN BEING CARRIED DOWN GANGPLANK (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIEM PILOT FORCE COMMANDER PAL ERIK TEIGEN SAYING: "We filled up Siem Pilot with nearly 1,100 migrants and then started to fill up the tanker again. During this we had given out all of our life suits so everybody had life suits and the closest rubber boat was coming towards us and 25 people jumped into the water but everybody had a life vest given from us so we knew they were floating. We took Siem Pilot a bit away from the people and we took the small boats inside to pick them up and we got help from the Irish. We picked up the people again and took them to the tanker and nobody drowned." MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING FROM SHIP CHILD MIGRANT, WOMAN AND MAN WALKING DOWN GANGPLANK EMERGENCY WORKER HELPING MIGRANT MIGRANTS WALKING DOWN GANGPLANK (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIEM PILOT FORCE COMMANDER PAL ERIK TEIGEN SAYING: "That's happy news. We had a child born on Siem Pilot at 0500 in the night on Sunday. We evacuated them to Lampedusa but the child was in good shape and we had also a girl that was four days old, she was also evacuated to Lampedusa and a woman that was pregnant and on overtime and she also went to Lampedusa. So, for Siem Pilot it's the first birth and it's also the biggest transhipment that we've had, 1,100." MIGRANTS WALKING DOWN GANGPLANK EMERGENCY WORKER HANDING BABY TO FEMALE MIGRANTS SITTING IN WHEELCHAIR ON QUAYSIDE VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS WRAPPED IN BLANKETS LEAVING SHIP
- Embargoed: 8th November 2016 11:06
- Keywords: migrants bodies Palermo port Siem Pilot rescue
- Location: PALERMO, ITALY
- City: PALERMO, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00155D5A9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Around 1,100 boat migrants and the bodies of 17 people who were recovered at sea were taken to port in Sicily's Palermo on Monday (October 24).
The migrants were rescued from boats in several operations last week and transferred onto the Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot which arrived in Palermo at around 0530GMT on Monday morning.
According to Siem Pilot Force Commander Pal Erik Teigen, nine of the bodies were found on rubber boats which were drifting at sea, one body was recovered from another migrant boat while the rest were recovered by other rescue vessels. Among the dead were the bodies of four migrants said to have died following an incident with the Libyan coast guard.
Germany-based Sea-Watch, one of several non-governmental organisations operating vessels off the coast of Libya, said on Friday (October 21) a speedboat marked "Libyan Coast Guard" swooped in as they went to the aid of an overcrowded rubber boat in the early hours.
At least one man from the Libyan vessel jumped into the rubber boat and beat the migrants with a stick, causing a mass panic a Sea-Watch spokesman said.
Part of the rubber boat deflated in the ruckus, toppling most of them into the sea.
The Sea-Watch crew said it recovered four bodies, but saw others in the water it was not able to retrieve. Of an estimated 150 people on board the rubber boat, Sea-Watch rescued 120.
A spokesman for the Libyan naval forces in Tripoli denied on Saturday (October 22) that it had attacked the migrant boat but admitted it boarded the rubber dinghy.
A Palermo court has opened an investigation into the incident, prosecutor Maurizio Scalia told Reuters from the port, where the bodies were taken off the Siem Pilot in brown coffins.
Teigen said the Siem Pilot was picking up some 900 migrants from a tanker off the Libyan coast on Friday when it was surrounded by many rubber boats.
The ship, now at full capacity, and other rescue vessels in the area worked through the night and the morning to pull the migrants to safety.
Rescuers also got to assist to a happy moment aboard the crowded ship, as a child was born on Sunday morning.
Helped by Libya-based people smugglers, some 150,000 people have set off for Italy in unseaworthy boats so far this year. More than 3,100 died or disappeared during the crossing, making the Central Mediterranean the world's most dangerous border for migrants. Since Friday, more than 6,000 men, women and children have been rescued at sea.
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