After a week’s relentless northerlies we have had calm seas and sultry heat. By day we have been patrolling an E-W line outside Libya’s 12 mile zone. At night we move north and heave to 25-30 miles offshore, where See Fuchs tucks her bum into the seas and drifts gently downwind.
On Monday, Open Arms picked up some hundreds of refugees from inflatable boats. We stood by and clucked like a mother hen. Later, another 25 refugees were retrieved from an inflatable, while 2 more boats were intercepted by Libyan Coastguard and their hapless occupants taken back to Libya. I wonder how much they had spent on their abortive crossing to the promised land.
And yesterday, as Seefuchs rolled and lurched her way home to Valletta, over 100 more refugees were picked up. 12 of them, all women, were dead. Back in Malta, Valletta seems almost obscenely calm and beautiful.