AB: “Frontex did everything possible at Cutro, immigrants did not appear to be in danger”

The boat carrying the 72 migrants who tragically died in the Cutro shipwreck was spotted by a Frontex patrol aircraft, but reported to Italy at the time of sight that the boat did not appear to be in danger. This was expressed by Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, at a press conference with journalists in Brussels. “Frontex was there to support Italy and was under Italian command. And this plane was going back when it saw the boat. What they saw went straight to Roman command. So they were seeing the same things,” Johansson said.

“From the video it did not appear that the boat was in danger, but the thermal images suggested that there were probably many people in the hold, but there were no signs of distress,” the commissioner continued, “so Frontex and Italian officials said it was a SAR activity (search and rescue, ed) they thought it was a police activity” and “probably for this reason they sent motorboats of the Financial Police instead of the SAR activity.” But for this, according to him, “Italy should respond”.

Assured that the EU border and coast guards are “doing everything they can and should do in this situation,” Johansson said, “unfortunately that wasn’t enough.” The plane “monitored the situation as long as there was fuel”, so “maybe if they had more fuel they could have seen the change in the weather” and warned of imminent danger. Last Saturday, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni denied the accusation that our country would not intervene and let migrants die, including large numbers of children, while explaining that Frontex “did not receive any emergency messages from our authorities” and Italy had not been warned. “that this boat is in danger of sinking”.

Source: Today IT