Operation Mare Nostrum celebrated her first year onboard ITS San Giorgio – presently headquartering the 29th Naval Group Command (CGN29), with a flag lowering ceremony held on the flight deck on October 18.
One year of hard work for all the crew members of the Italian Navy who, in cooperation with public agencies and charities, saved thousands of human lives.
On October 18, 2013, following the tragic events of October 3 and 11 in Lampedusa, the Italian Government started the Operation Mare Nostrum to tackle the massive migration flows from North Africa. The Italian Navy, in synergy with the Port Authorities, the Home Affairs Boarders Police General Office, supported by the Revenue Guard Corps, the State Police, the Carabinieri Corps and the Air Force, began to patrol the Sicily Straits and the waters south of Lampedusa.
Three hundred sixty five days into the H24 operation, over 152,000 women, men and children were assisted. Over 95,000 migrants rescued by Italian Navy ships, 351 smugglers brought to justice (in cooperation with the Public Prosecutors) and 9 mother ships seized.
These results were achieved deploying 32 navy ships, 2 submarines and helicopters, and average of 900 military a day; nearly 60 emergency sanitary transfers by helicopter and 13 boardings on suspect vessels by the San Marco Brigade fusiliers.
Press release, Image: Italian Navy