The global provider of multipurpose and heavy lift shipping services, German based BBC Chartering reports its vessel BBC ICELAND assisted a rescue operation where more than 300 Syrian refugees were found floating in fishing boats off the Italian-Sicilian coast on September 13.
Due to its proximity to the scene, the BBC ICELAND’s master reported the vessel received order from the MRCC Roma (Maritime Rescue Coordination Center) in the late evening of Sept. 13, to remain standby and assist the operation if needed. In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, the Italian coast guard requested the BBC ICELAND to take on some refugees as not all could be taken onboard the coast guard vessels on the scene. In total 134 Syrians, all men, were transferred to the BBC ICELAND.
Upon instructions of the Italian Ministry of Interior, the BBC ICELAND was asked to proceed to the Port of Pozzalo (Sicily) where the tug boat “Citta di Augusta” was ordered to take over the refugees. All 134 Syrians could be safely transferred onboard the tug. Having completed her first humanitarian rescue mission, the BBC ICELAND left the scene again in the afternoon of Sept. 14 and commenced her originally planned passage.