In July, a vessel in distress was found with 40 people  in Malta’s SAR zone. Once the MRCC Malta noticed the ship,  it ordered the Caroline III (commercial vessel) to go to the scene. However, the Caroline kept its distance and only rescued 8 people who had jumped in the water.

Later, the 40 migrants were transferd to the Sarost 5, a supply vessel for the Miskar oil rig, located on the Tunisian Coast. Allegedly the Sarost 5 was following orders of the company operating the nearby platform.

With all the migrants on board, the Sarost 5, started contacting Italy, France and Malta searching for a port to disembark the migrants. However, neither of them allowed the ship to enter their harbours. Considering this, the ship went to Sfax and Zarzis in Tunisia, but they also denied the disembark.

Following this, the Sarost 5 waiter in the front of hte por of Zarzis for approximate two weeks, and the migrants were made to sleep on cardboards on deck. Finally, on July 28th 2018, the Tunisian prie minister allowed the Sarost 5 to disembark the migrants on humanitarian grounds.

SAR case number: N.A

Incident type: EU MRCC denying disembarkation

Time of first information received (UTC): 13/07/2018 12:00 am


Number of migrant boats: 1

Type of migrant boat(s): N.A

Number of people on board per boat: 40

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): Caroline III, Commercial Vessel Sarost 5, Supply vessel

Actors involved (by asset / institution type): Caroline III; Sarost 5; MRCC Malta


Region of Mediterranean: Central Mediterranean

Position(s) of vessel(s) in distress at the time of SAR request:

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: N.A

Position(s) of rescue(s) at the time of SAR operation(s):

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: N.A

Country of disembarkation: Tunisia


Total number of survivors: 40


Total number of confirmed deaths: 0

Estimated number of dead / missing persons: 0