The Armed Forces of Malta Operations Centre was yesterday alerted through an emergency message transmitted at sea. After preliminary investigations it resulted that a Tanzanian registered vessel was on fire and in distress some 30 nautical miles north of Malta.
The AFM immediately responded to the call and dispatched three of its maritime assets (an inshore patrol vessel P23, a fast interceptor and offshore patrol vessel P52) and an Alouette III helicopter to the operational area. It resulted that the dry cargo vessel was carrying nine people who are now safe as they were picked up by an Italian Guardia di Finanza vessel that was close by.
The coordination of the search and rescue operation was carried out by the AFM’s Rescue Coordination Centre in Luqa.
Apart from AFM vessels, this operation saw the participation of the Maltese Civil Protection Department vessel Garibaldi, Italian air and naval law enforcement assets as well as a number of civilian support vessels including the ‘Nos Taurus’.