Canale di Sicilia, the prosecutor investigates the route of the tugboat with the migrants on board

There is a corpse in the stern, around the other migrants praying. It is a photo taken yesterday by Moonbird, the Sea Watch airplane that monitors the Mediterranean, of the ship Vos Triton, a tugboat flying the flag of Gibraltar that rescued 77 migrants in the Strait of Sicily three days ago. “While we were returning we saw the body and the boys gathered in a compound moment of mourning,” says Giorgia Linardi, spokesperson for Sea Watch.

The boat is now off Porto Empedocle, awaiting disembarkation. After the rescue there would have been moments of tension on board, probably the migrants were afraid that the tugboat was heading for Libya. To clarify the matter, the Agrigento prosecutor’s office has opened a file. “We want to ascertain the facts – says Deputy Prosecutor Salvatore Vella – The boat was headed for the North African country and then changed direction”. This route would appear from the ship’s tracks.

“The episode of the Vos Triton, like so many others, demonstrates that at this moment no authority supports and coordinates the ships that are carrying out a rescue in the Mediterranean. This boat was given indications only when it arrived near Lampedusa ”, says Linardi.

Meanwhile, the tug Asso 30 arrived in Porto Empedocle this morning, which the day before yesterday rescued 232 people and even took a body on board. “We are worried about the high number of departures, unusual for February – concludes Linardi – This month Moonbird has sighted 26 boats”.