EU Launches Investigation Into Border Agency’s Role In Rescue In Deadliest Migrant Shipwreck

On Wednesday, Emily O’Reilly, the EU Ombudsman responsible for examining maladministration and systemic issues, will introduce an investigation into the role of the EU border agency dubbed Frontex in a deadly shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea.

The examination will focus on Frontex’s involvement in search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean, particularly the events surrounding the Adriana shipwreck off the coast of Greece in June, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of migrants. Conflicting reports came up following the sinking of the Adriana about Frontex’s knowledge before the tragedy and its role in trying to prevent it.

Video Credit: @ABC7Chicago/ Youtube

The Ombudsman has asked to check Frontex’s internal “Serious Incident Report” and is also seeking details on how events unfolded during crucial hours of the vessel sinking and capsizing. Authorities of Greece have faced scrutiny after allegations from survivors that the local coast guard deliberately steered an overcrowded fishing vessel toward Italy, leading to its submerging. Reports have reflected that the boat had been stalled for several hours before the coast guard finally intervened.

The tragedy put increased pressure on Frontex to end its operations in Greece owing to the nation’s lack of adequate cooperation. Besides Frontex’s role in search and rescue missions, the examination will see how information is exchanged between Frontex and the national authorities and if Frontex has a say in the operations design.

Chris Borowski, a senior public relations officer associated with Frontex, stated that the agency does not coordinate search and rescue missions, as this is the duty of national authorities. However, Frontex vessels participate in search and rescue missions as they are called upon and offer essential information to rescue centers and national authorities to save lives.

Reference: The Print, Greek City Times, Euro News

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

Latest Videos You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *