THE Director General of the Guardia Civil, Arsenio Fernandez de Mesa, visited the port of Malaga on July 5 to meet the crew of the Civil Guard Maritime Service vessel Rio Segura after participating in Operation Triton in Italian waters in order to hear first-hand all the details of this operation that the European External Borders Agency (FRONTEX) has deployed in the Central Mediterranean.
The Guardia Civil has been part of this operation since December 2014 deploying ships and aircraft on the southern coast of Italy, including the islands of Sicily and Lampedusa and its main mission has been relief and rescue of immigrants from Africa and the Arab fleeing conflict countries, such as Syria.
The Director General congratulated all officers who had taken part in this operation for their humanitarian work, sometimes in difficult conditions of rough seas, and noted that they have rescued a total of 2,938 in nine operations, of which 2,358 have been by sea while 580 others have been located by Guardia Civil aircraft.
They had acted to give medical assistance to some 1,200 people during these rescues and were even involved in delivering a baby as well as debriefing immigrants, information which led to the arrest of 17 people smugglers by the Italian authorities.
The Director General also spoke about the many other operations that the organisation has participated in around the Mediterranean and Africa.