THE Guardia Civil’s vessel Rio Segura, part of the maritime service, is participating in Operation Triton and helped in the rescue of 633 migrants found drifting in waters off the northern coast of Libya.
Operation Triton is a border security operation conducted by Frontex, the European Union’s border security agency. The operation, under Italian control, began on November 1, 2014 and involves voluntary contributions from 15 other European nations (both EU member states and non-members).
This operation was put into place after the Italian government requested assistance as it was spending over €9 million per month in trying to police the waters near to Libya and although not every member state joined in, Spain has been an important part of Triton.
Other ships that took part in the rescue included the Italian Navy’s Bersagliere as rescue coordinator, the Coastal Guards’ Fiorillo as well as Dignity 1 and Bourbon Argos, both of which belong to ‘medecins sans frontieres.’
For security reasons, all of the migrants that were on these ships were moved on to the Rio Segura, which transported them to the Italian town of Taranto.
According to the Guardia Civil press release, of the 633 people rescued, 509 were men, 81 women and 43 children. In addition there were eight bodies found and a baby was born on Dignity 1.