US military picks up distress signal, helps coordinate rescue of 131 migrants in the Mediterranean

Actualizado: 12 ago 2020

U.S. military forces responded to a distress signal in the Mediterranean that resulted in the rescue of 131 migrants.

A U.S. Air Force drone conducting surveillance off the coast of North Africa located a distressed inflatable boat carrying migrants across the Mediterranean Sea, a press release reported.

The boat was deflating and its motor had died approximately 50 miles northwest of Misrata, Libya, tweets from Alarm Phone, a network advocating for the rescue of migrants in distress, reported.

The tweets also stated that none of the 131 migrants on board, including 13 minors, were wearing life jackets.

U.S. Air Forces Africa reported the incident to AFRICOM, where in-house Coast Guard expertise reached out to key agencies to respond.

“Our routine surveillance along the North Africa Coast gave us an opportunity to lend a helping hand,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of AFRICOM. “U.S. forces have a long-standing tradition of helping mariners in distress and providing humanitarian assistance.”

The Libyan Coast Guard eventually brought all of the migrants safely to shore in Tripoli, where teams from the International Organization for Migration were waiting to provide assistance.

Source: Navy Times.


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