USS San Antonio rescues 128 refugees from raft in Mediterranean

BZ to the men & women aboard the San Antonio.

USS San Antonio Responds to Persons in Distress Near Malta

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — At the request of the Maltese government, the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rendered assistance Oct. 16 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean.

131016-N-ZZ999-001 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 16, 2013) Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rescued 128 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean Oct. 16. San Antonio was more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, arriving on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. The men, between the ages of 20 and 30, were provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based ship. (RELEASED/U.S. Navy photo)

Winds and seas were rocking the raft when it was spotted by a Maltese patrol aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the Maltese government contacted several ships in the area, as well as U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, and requested assistance in rescuing the distressed persons.

San Antonio was a little more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, and arrived on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. Soon after, her crew began transferring the individuals using two 11-man rigid hull inflatable boats.

In all, 128 men between the ages of 20 and 30 were rescued from the raft. San Antonio provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to all.

Assistance efforts were ongoing as this story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=77104

Boat carrying refugees to Australia sinks off Java, 170 assylum seekers on board

Kevin Rudd might think his new asylum policy (essentially, “bugger off”) is working… but people are still coming, still risking their lives, still dying in the process. What Rudd (and all politicians in all countries) fail to understand is the simple psychological motive that drives refugees to (1) ignore politicians, and (2) continue risking their lives. Let’s spell it out in words that even a prime minister can understand: If your home country is a dangerous war-torn disease-infested totalitarian craphole, you will risk anything to escape to somewhere better.

Dozens missing in deadly boat capsize near Indonesia

At least one person has died and dozens are missing after a boat carrying asylum seekers heading to Australia sank off the Indonesian island of Java.

Australia has seen a sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority said a rescue operation was under way.

About 100 people have been pulled from the water, but as many as 170 people were reported to have been on board.

The incident comes days after Australian PM Kevin Rudd announced that refugees arriving by boat would no longer be settled in Australia.

In a bid to tackle an increase in the number of boat arrivals, Australia’s new asylum policy will see refugees sent to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for processing.

The boat, which was carrying passengers from Sri Lanka and Iran, reportedly started smoking and taking on water shortly after departure from Cidaun village on Java on Tuesday evening.

“I am the only one back,” one man travelling with 61 Iranians told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

Australian media reports said the body of a child had been recovered.

Australian officials said the Indonesian authorities were conducting the rescue operation.

It is the latest in a series of deadly incidents involving migrants travelling by boat to Australia. Last week, four people died when a boat carrying 150 people sank off the coast of Christmas Island.

Christmas Island lies 1,600 miles north-west of the mainland and is the closest part of Australia to Indonesia. It is the key transit hub for people-smugglers.

Australia has seen a sharp rise in the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat in recent months.

Prime Minister Rudd said the new asylum policy was aimed at dissuading people from making the dangerous journey to Australia by boat.

However, the policy has been condemned by human rights organisations and PNG officials who view Australia as shirking obligations and outsourcing its problem to a developing nation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23429003