Alarm Phone, an emergency hotline for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, has reported four boats carrying 250 people in distress during the night, including 118 in Malta’s search and rescue zone.
The hotline said it has lost contact with two of these boats, including one in Malta’s search and rescue zone, and has no idea whether the people on board are still alive.
“EU air assets were monitoring some of them,” it said. “How is it to watch people slowly die from above? Happy Easter Sunday.”
Yesterday, Alarm Phone warned that one of the boats in Maltese waters has run out of fuel and that the people on board are without food or water. It said a mother is now pleading with the Malta Armed Forces to at least save her young child.
“The boat is drifting as the fuel is out. After a second night at sea the people are without food and water and ask for immediate help, they have one pregnant woman with her daughter on board. The people fled Libya two days ago and need to be rescued now!” they urged.
Malta formally declared its ports unsafe to ban the entry of irregular migrants on 9th April, with Prime Minister Robert Abela stating this was necessary to ensure all the country’s resources are focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic on the island.
That same evening, the AFM rescued least 66 migrants but the Maltese government warned this would be the last time during in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
Italy had closed its ports a day earlier, meaning migrants currently out at sea are now at serious risk of death.