Yesterday a migrant vessel was spotted in Malta's Search and Rescue (SAR) zone by activist hotline Alarm-phone. The AFM reached the migrant vessel this morning at 4:30 AM. Of the 81 total passengers, 3 passengers are believed to have been dead on arrival.
Within the first 12 hours that the migrants were spotted within Malta's SAR zone, 3 vessels were present within the migrant vessel's vicinity by migrant rescue group Sea-Watch International. The NGO has accused Maltese authorities of ordering at least one of the vessels to not rescue the migrants in danger. Amongst the three possible vessels usable for rescue was a Turkish NATO Frigate, which only sent a helicopter to monitor the situation.
A magisterial inquiry was opened by Magistrate Joe Mifsud to determine the cause of the three deaths on board, that being due to the late response time of the Maltese armed forces or otherwise.
Do you think the migrants should have been rescued sooner?