Monday, February 09, 2015


It has been cold in Sicily today. Very cold. This morning it even snowed for a few minutes and tonight, although I have the heating on, I am finding it difficult to keep warm in a dwelling with tiled floors and single glazing.

Therefore I cannot imagine what it must be like trying to keep warm in atrocious conditions at sea in a flimsy, inadequate dinghy. Three such vessels had set out from Libya on Sunday, heading in a force 7 sea for the shores of Europe with their cargoes of desperate migrants. The dinghies soon ran into trouble and, once they were spotted, Italian Coast Guard vessels set out to rescue them.

And there, on board the small Italian boats heading for Lampedusa, at least 29 of the migrants died of hypothermia, it is reported tonight. Lampedusa officials say that there are many young people among the dead and it is feared that the death toll will rise, possibly to 200 according to La Stampa.

The Mayor of Lampedusa, Giusy Nicolini, has no doubt where the blame lies and has said,

"The 366 Lampedusa dead lost their lives for nothing;  the Pope's words were for nothing;  we're back where we were before Mare Nostrum*."

She believes that, had Mare Nostrum still been in operation, the migrants would have been transferred to large, naval ships within an hour and these ships would have been better able to protect them from the elements during the journey to Lampedusa.

Tonight we can only hope that the death toll is not higher.

*Mare Nostrum was a rescue mission coordinated by the Italian Navy. It was wound up last October and replaced by Triton, a rescue misssion coordinated by Frontex, the European External Borders Agency.


Liz Hinds said...

How desperate are the people who choose to risk everything going on those boats?

The arguments about immigrants make me so cross.

Whispering Walls said...

Those poor people! Are you going to get a new puppy to sit on your lap WL?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yers, Liz, they must be absolutely desperate. Hello, WW. Yes,. very sad. As you now know, I have her!


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