It isn’t sailing, but it must incense any sailor.
Last night, Falmouth Coastguard got a phone call, at around midnight,
from an Ethiopian man living in the UK, who had been called by some desperate
person on a raft, off Libya. Falmouth rang the satellite number and learned
the true extent of the situation.
59 people had been dumped from a commercial vessel, as darkness came,
into a leaking inflatable raft. 15 were women, 4 of them pregnant, there
were 7 children and 37 men. The craft was taking water and had no engine.
The weather was getting worse. They had no food or water. The battery
on their phone was failing.
Falmouth Coastguard was able to get a location and ascertained that the
vessel was within Libyan search and rescue waters, but the British Embassy
in Tripoli has been unable to contact the Libyan authorities.
There were no US, or UK, military vessels within 150 miles of the rafts
position. One commercial vessel responded to Falmouth’s All Ships Mayday;
it was a long way off.