Waiting to Die

^ Cartography of of the migrant boat tragedy within NATO maritime surveillance areas (early Spring 2011). Source: Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani and SITU Studio, Forensic Architecture (ERC) via the guardian.


A group of 72 sub-Saharan men, women (some pregnant) and children boarded a small inflatable rubber dinghy to scape from Gaddafi’s Libya. They departed from Tripoli on 26 March 2011. Smugglers had been organising migrants to Lampedusa for a theoretical 18-hours trip. After one day, panic rose amongst migrants for running out of fuel and water. They contacted a priest in Rome (Father Zerai) with their satellite phone, who contacted Italian Maritime Rescue and Co-ordination Centre, informing about the situation. He provided the number of the phone to locate them with precision via GPS. A helicopter came and lowered down water bottles and biscuits with a rope from above. Other fishing boats and Nato military vessels were in the area without assisting them. The boat drifted away until it reached back Libyan coast 16 days after their departure with only 11 people on board.


This research is part of Forensic Oceanography, an investigation into the conditions which have caused the death of more than 1500 persons (estimate by UNHCR) in the Central Mediterranean in the Spring of 2011.


Read further:

Migrants left to die after catalogue of failures

Nato ‘failed to aid’ Lybian migrant boat

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