On Monday, June 6, 2016, I watched from my vantage point on the rocks overlooking the historical Grand Harbour, and the Three Cities, Malta, as the Phoenix sailed out towards the Mediterranean on its first mission of 2016 in those waters. Once more onboard – just as he had been in 2015 – my husband, photographer, Jason Florio, camera gear at the ready, to document the boat rescues; which began as soon as they reached their destination of the ‘Dead Zone‘, off the Libyan coast.
The next boat the Phoenix crew will see, within their vicinity, won’t be a tourist boat leisurely cruising the Three Cities, in the calm waters of the Grand Harbour, but a precariously over-crowded rubber dinghy, out in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea – which will prove to be the first of several rescues in these first few days at sea.
Love and luck, and a safe journey, to Florio and the always-inspiring, hard-working Phoenix SAR team and the crew – and to the Responder crew too, MOAS’s 2nd boat (which Florio was onboard earlier this year, on its missions in the Aegean Sea), which will be alongside, patrolling the waters.
Check out Jason Florio’s blog, with regular updates about his assignments