The Spanish Navy frigate, the ‘Reina Sofía’, supported by a Spanish Air Force D-4 plane and the Guardia Civil vessel, the ‘Río Segura’, rescued at least 96 people within the framework of the European Union Operation ‘SOPHIA’, which fights human trafficking mafias in the Mediterranean, the Spanish government said.
Spain’s Guardia Civil general headquarters ordered the frigate, the ‘Reina Sofía’, to set sail at full speed towards the position in order to deal with the numerous vessels that had been spotted by a maritime patrol plane. Various inflatable and wooden vessels had been detected with many people on-board without life vests.
The ‘Reina Sofía’ and the ‘Río Segura’ headed to the zone where they encountered a semi-submerged wooden vessel. Meanwhile, they were alerted to the existence of bodies in the water, in the vicinity of the vessel.
The frigate supplied life vests to the migrants and, together with the Guardia Civil patrol vessel and a patrol vessel of the Italian Coast Guard, proceeded to rescue the refugees on-board the vessel.
Furthermore, the medical personnel on the frigate attended to a child in a critical condition suffering from hypothermia and symptoms of having been in the water; the child was stabilised on-board and then evacuated to Lampedusa on an Italian Coast Guard helicopter.
The Spanish resources continue to work in the action zone.