Summer is approaching and that means a seasonal increase in African migrants who try to reach Lampedusa, Sicily or Malta from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. As in the last couple of years lots of them manage to reach these island outposts that have come to be the most accessible edges of the European Union and lots of them don’t. An sometimes people are deliberately left hanging in between these two options for a while:
Over the weekend 27 migrants spent a day at sea holding on to buoys around a giant tuna net attached to a maltese tow-boat. the captain of the tow-boat had saved them from the waters off the Libyan coast after their boat had sunk. They had to stay there for more than 24 hours because the owners of the tow-boat where afraid to let them aboard in order not to jeopardize the 1 million euro worth of tuna in the net as both the maltese and the Libyan authorities refused to save them from the seas. After 24 hours the Italian authorities intervened and transferred them to an Italian navy vessel (more in this times online article).