After having been summoned by the Italian MRCC, the Sea-Watch 2 changed course towards the given position. On the way, approximately 15nm off the Libyan coast, a fast boat bearing the flag of the Libyan coastguard approached the starboard side of the Sea-Watch 2. The coastguard ship refused to communicate on the radio.

They gestured towards the crew of the Sea-Watch 2, indicating that they expect them to stop the ship. Afterwards, they communicated the same message on the radio.

Subsequently, a member of the coastguard shot several times with a machine gun.

SAR case number: N.A

SAR organisation: Sea Watch

SAR asset: Sea Watch 3

Incident types: Warning shots at air or water; Fast approach; Verbal threats; Violent boarding by non-EU authority; Order to stay away by non-EU authority; Pullback; On-scene coordination transfer to non-EU country; Intimidation (Other)

Date of SAR (UTC): 24/04/2016

Source of first information for the NGO: MRCC Rome

Vessels

Type of migrant boat(s): N.A

Number of people on board per boat: N.A

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): Libyan Coast Guard's vessels

Actors involved (by asset / institution type): MRCC Rome; Libyan Coast Guard/Navy

Location

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

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: 15 Nautical Miles off Libyan Coast

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

Location description: High seas

Approximate distance from coast line: N.A