Archive for » October 14th, 2013«

Italy steps up migrant boat patrols

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Kassim Kayira says many people have gathered to see more than 100 coffins arrive in Sicily

Italy is stepping up sea and air patrols following the deaths of hundreds of migrants sailing in overcrowded boats from North Africa.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta said an “air and naval package” would start on Monday south of Sicily.

On Friday at least 33 people died when their boat capsized between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

A week earlier, more than 350 migrants died in another shipwreck off Lampedusa.

Italy has previously called for EU help in dealing with the thousands of desperate migrants who wash up on its beaches every year. Many are families fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East who hope for a better life in Europe.

But the recent loss of life has led to further calls for EU action.

Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro said the country intended to triple its presence in the southern Mediterranean.

It had become necessary “in part by the fact that Libya is currently a ‘non-state’,” he told Italian newspaper Avvenire.

“We need strong action to stop these shipwrecks,” he added.

Italian media reported that unmanned drone aircraft based in Sicily could also be used to identify boats in trouble.

Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said the patrols would be to rescue migrants rather than “telling them to stay where they are”.

Migrants in temporary camp in Lampedusa. 9 Oct 2013Lampedusa has set up a temporary camp to house migrants

In addition to coastguard and border police vessels, the Italian navy currently has three ships supported by four helicopters patrolling the area. It can also call on two surveillance aircraft with night-vision capabilities.

A spokesman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Lampedusa told the BBC that Italy is also planning to increase its capacity for receiving migrants from 8,000 to 16,000.

“[Migrants] should be transferred to the mainland, to the proper reception system. It’s a huge effort [Italy] is making… the reception capability will be raised starting from next January,” Maurizio Molina said.

Migrants who survived Friday’s capsize say they were were shot at as they left Libya.

Map of the Mediterranean

One survivor told the BBC that some on board were shot and that bullet holes caused the boat to start sinking.

Some have suggested that the Libyan coast guard had fired at the boat, though other accounts suggested that rival trafficking gangs or Libyan militiamen may have been to blame.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat visited Libya on Sunday where he discussed the issue of migrant boats with his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan.

“We are determined to deal with the problem,” Mr Zeidan said.

“Several measures have been taken in terms of equipment and the addition of maritime police to increase the monitoring of our shores,” he added.

“But, as you know, human traffickers have gained considerable expertise on this matter and despite tightening measures sometimes it is out of the hands of the authorities.”

Armed militias still hold some power in parts of Libya since they helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Mr Zeidan was himself seized by militiamen last Thursday and held for several hours before being released.

Mr Muscat has called on EU states to act over the migrant boats, saying that a “cemetery” was being created in the Mediterranean.

According to the UN, some 32,000 migrants have arrived in Malta and Italy this year.

Similar news:

Barcolana regatta: Hundreds of yachts take to the sea off coast of Italy

  • Around 2,000 boats and 100,000 people took part in this year’s regatta
  • The race started as a local competition between 51 boats in 1969
  • It is now the most crowded sailing event in the Mediterranean and one of the busiest in the world

Chris Pleasance

10:18 EST, 13 October 2013


11:15 EST, 13 October 2013

It started off as in informal race between 51 locals in 1969 to mark the end of the sailing season for another year.

But 45 years on the Barcolana regatta now attracts 2,000 boats from all across the globe, transforming the coastline with a bevy of boats.

The week-long celebration of sailing was capped off today with the Barcolana International Sailing Race, with hundreds of yachts taking part.

The 45th annual Barcolana Regatta capped off a week of sailing celebrations in the Gulf of Trieste today as thousands of boats took part

The regatta began as a race between 51 locals but is now the biggest event of its kind in the Mediterranean and one of the busiest in the world

Classic yachts are in full display during the week-long event as well as smaller vessels designed for youngsters aged between 15 and 18

Hundreds of thousands of people spent the week at Trieste’s biggest annual event, enjoying classic boat races, land events and night-time sailing.

The gathering is the biggest of its kind anywhere in the Mediterranean and turns the Gulf of Trieste into the unofficial sailing capital of Europe for seven days.

The start line is traditionally
underneath the Victory Lighthouse, built in 1927 to light the Gulf and
serve as a monument to those killed in World War One.

The Victory Lighthouse (pictured centre) was built in 1927 and serves as a monument to Italy’s soldiers who died during the First World War

Aided by stronger winds this year than last the boats, captained by holiday sailors and world-class helmsmen alike, took off across the Gulf

The race heads around four buoys, one of which is traditionally dropped into the waters of Slovenia, covering about 16 nautical miles

Last year’s race was a slow-motion
affair as low winds meant boats struggled to reach top speeds, though
the wind picked up this time around.

In the classic yacht class over 30 vintage boats animated the Gulf, racing along on a strong south-easterly wind. Leone Sirio’s “Lucia” and “Marilu”, belonging to Vincenzo Ciumbo, received the Best Restoration trophy and the Spirit of Tradition trophy.

A very light breeze accompanied the Barcolana by Night Jotun Cup. First to the finish line was Goofy being sailed by Marco and Pietro Perelli, but they were disqualified for an early start.

The annual Barcolana regatta, near northern Italy, is one of the largest sailing races in the world and caps off a week of celebrations which include land events

Watched from land, sea and air the race attracted over 100,000 people this year alone and is getting bigger every time

The race passes Miramare castle, built in 1860 by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg as a residence for himself and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium

You have to be brave to risk damaging your boat in the crowded race that attracts thousands of boats to its week of events

That handed a first-time victory to Marco Perosa and his boat ReNero ahead of two of his historical rivals.

Everyone from brave amateurs all the way up to world-class helmsmen can take part in the race which is always held on the second Sunday of October.

Offering something for everyone the event includes a King of the Wind event in which people with disabilities race in specially adapted boats.

Comments (12)

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.


LONDON, United Kingdom,

3 hours ago

The wind drops, they’re boogered, and that includes you Ainslie yer oil-skinned lightweight:)


saint norbert,

5 hours ago

Drin Drink and get drunk and vomit your week end sails

Lord Barrett,

Huntingdon, United Kingdom,

8 hours ago

They had better do a head count when they come back in. All the illegals will be hitching a ride.


Non Stop Erotic Cabernet, Equatorial Guinea,

8 hours ago

That one nearest to the shore would be Schettino’s I believe.

Michelle M. Marshall,

Washington D.C, United States,

9 hours ago

just as Thomas replied I’m impressed that some one can get paid $5348 in four weeks on the computer. discover here,,, W­­W­W.F­­b­­3­9.C­­o­­m

reasonable force,

bradford, United Kingdom,

9 hours ago

that Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg bloke was clever building that beautiful residence,i wonder if he had any help


Budapest and London, United Kingdom,

9 hours ago

I wonder how many of these worldclass helmsmen have put there expertise to good use by helping those desperate refugess who die in their hundreds..!!


Dartford, United Kingdom,

10 hours ago

Too many people with too much money – or perhaps they are not paying the same level of tax that I am.


temp expat in Middle East, United Kingdom,

11 hours ago

Not sure that it’s international news, but quite a sight, all the same!


earth, Germany,

11 hours ago


The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now

Similar news: