Astral decided to go home

WorldAstral decided to go home

  • EL PERIÓDICO Begins with open arms and sails on the ship ‘Astral’ in search of the stranded in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea

  • Bad weather forecast for the next few days forces the Open Arms vessel to shorten its mission

Perhaps it was the frightening rays of dawn that illuminated the horizon with their electric convulsions when astral He found the boat he was tracking empty. Or maybe it was several hours spent by your crew dusting across the Mediterranean In search of a second goal that never appeared. But the hangover from the first rescue carried out by the Open Arms ship during this mission was strange to say the least. Satisfaction of helping over a hundred people get on one Italy’s safe harbor gave way to severe indigestion. suddenly radio distress call And, for several hours, it seemed that it was Astral that was drifting, with no other company than the dolphins.

On Monday all his efforts went in vain. six hours after crossing search and rescue area (SAR) Italian, dodging the lightning storm that swept through its waters, Astral finally found wooden boat hours ago he was located adridrift Aeroplane of German NGOs sea ​​watch, It was 03:00 in the morning when his sleepless crew pointed to a spotlight small boat. It was empty. no trace of its passengers, Neither in the water, then got carried away by the waves. There was silence and more than one bad idea until the most experienced members of the team saw the painted references on the helm of the Patera, which revealed that italian coast guard Passengers were collected.

According to Oscar Camp, founder of the Transalpine Coast Guard, the Transalpine Coast Guard Always Attends to the Call for Help open arms, The question is whether they act quickly or delay the response as much as possible, as is often the case. Another thing is Malta. In college Ignore Calls from Onegasy, and in your area SAR It was the second goal of the day. ,may Day, may Day’, a Sea Watch ship shouted to the radio using the international distress signal. “There many kids on deck Even more a lot of women, We need help”. A wooden boat with about 120 people was located on the German cargo ship, but couldn’t take care of them because It took 400 refugees in And migrants were rescued in recent days.

patent desperation

The subtle came to his aid, but again it was in vain. Just twenty minutes before reaching its destination, Sea Watch reported that it had finally chosen to accommodate the passengers of the canoe. “1500 euros of fuel was thrown overboard”, said someone from the command bridge at Astral. The frustration was obvious. Since leaving Badalona on 14 November, nothing went according to plan, First it was a mechanical problem that left the boat stranded in Menorca for four days. and then Covid-19 positive aboard open arms, the sister ship that came to reinforce Astral’s efforts and which had already made a half-turn while sailing towards the central Mediterranean.

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But one last surprise was lacking, which was reluctantly anticipated by Weather Forecast Marine radio station’s: a Thunderstorms with strong winds for the next four to five days, Camps and Captain Savas decided to call the crew. Outside, a silky sunset, clinging to knife-cut rocks lampedusa, that over an island it resembles an old dinosaur while spectating on the sea. “We will not be able to move forward because we will have waves up to four metres,” the captain said. On the table, three options: Take refuge in a port in Sicily to weather the storm; Resist the Storm on the High Seas knowing that the boats might not go out of Libya at sea or return to badalona three days before the scheduled time.

unanimous decision

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“Giving up is always painful because you never know whether someone will dare to cross, but we have to think” This boat is our tool and we have to take care of it, It is reckless to beat him for five days, camps have been set up on the command bridge. Among the crew, most of them novices, the reflections were in the same direction. “If we stop then everything is to be tried and too much risk”, said Dr. Katrina Ciuffegni. “Five days of rough seas are too big for me,” confessed lifeguard Anna Squarza.

It was time to vote: “Who wants to go? & Rdquo; One by one the heads nodded with the seriousness that the moment demanded. unanimous decision, astral returns home After nine days of camaraderie and many adventures, He did what he had come to do, no matter how brief his mission: to show those who risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean There is still some humanity left in Europe.

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