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AFM rescues 3 more survivors and recovers another corpse

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AFM rescues 3 more survivors and recovers another corpseUpdate: Since early this morning the Armed Forces of Malta Operations Centre has continued with the search efforts using both merchant vessels in the area and as well as Maltese and Italian Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Three more survivors were saved in the past hours whilst another corpse will be brought to Malta in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The three survivors are expected to arrive in Malta onboard a merchant vessel. The other survivors were earlier evacuated to Crete. Survivors are claiming that they were rammed by another boat.

The operation is still ongoing ..

The Malta Rescue Coordination Centre reported earlier today that it was involved in a search and rescue operation around 300 miles South East of Malta. A corpse recovered during the operation is expected to be transported to Malta onboard a merchant vessel in the hours to come.

The case started to develop after a merchant ship ‘AMS Pegasus,’ whilst in transit sighted 2 persons in water, who after being recovered claimed that they were onboard a vessel with around other 30 persons, which had sunk.

RCC Malta following the information, diverted several merchant vessels transiting in the vicinity and commenced with the coordination of a series of searches in the area in order to locate other possible persons at sea.

RCC Malta also dispatched an AFM Maritime Patrol Aircraft to conduct further searches in the area. Through coordination between RCC MT and MRCC Rome, 3 Italian Coastguard and Navy Aircrafts were also dispatched towards the area in order to assist in the SAR operation. An Italian Coastguard Aircraft spotted a group of persons in the water in one of the search areas and launched a life raft.

A total of 7 persons including two children were recovered by merchant vessels assisting in the area. During the rescue operation a number of corpses were spotted but priority was given to save the rescued persons.

In view that the rescued persons were in need of urgent medical assistance and Greece was the closest place of safety and within helicopter range of the merchant vessels, RCC MT coordinated a MEDEVAC with the Greek Rescue Coordination Centre and Greek Coastguard.

RCC MT coordinated further searches in the area in order to locate other possible survivors also with the assistance of MRCC Rome .

Photograph: Justin Gatt/AFM Press Office

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