One of the many abandoned migrant boats to have washed up on the southern Sicilian coast could be seen at the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, Saturday, as those attempting to reach Europe from North Africa attempt to bypass registration by landing at night and deserting the vessels.
Around 30 of these covert landings have reportedly taken place in Italy over the past two years, with the majority taking small groups of migrants from Tunisia to southern Italy in 6-7 metre long boats.
SOT, Claudio Lombardo, member of Mare Amico (Italian): “This is the reserve of Torre Salsa and it is the main spot for docking of migrants. Here is where the so called “ghost dockings” happen, they are small docking, which happen mainly overnight, by people who don’t want to be recognised or registered.”
SOT, Claudio Lombardo, member of Mare Amico (Italian): “They can arrive here with small fishing boats or, at times, they are left on the beach. The prices they pay, according rumors, are very high, they arrive at night and then disappear, they are not to be found. They are often migrants from the Maghreb, economic migrants or asylum seekers or without any passport.”
SOT, Claudio Lombardo, member of Mare Amico (Italian): “Those boats that you see are left here for months and they are left to be destroyed and behind the dunes where there is a dock, we often find clothes as they change as soon as they arrive, and sometimes we also find ID documents that are lost in the middle of the night, during the transfer.”
SOT, Antonella Barone, citizen of Torre Salsa (Italian): “During the night, around two, the dogs often start to bark and it happens that some boats arrive, sometime they are dark grey, and people get off. It happens at night and it is not possible to see the colour of their skin. They arrive and have mobile phones turned on and they start walking toward the exit of the reserve, after ten seconds, the inflatable boat they arrived on disappears again”.
SOT, Antonella Barone, citizen of Torre Salsa (Italian): “This is nothing new, it is something that has happened for five years, more or less.”
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