Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






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Out of Palermo

MOAS: how an Easter 2017 tragedy was averted, 1800 lives saved

April 19, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

On the 19th April 2015, an estimated 700 children, women and men drowned in the Mediterranean while desperately searching for a new life in safety and peace. The European community was outraged and politicians vowed: ‘never again’.

The following year, on the 18th of April, up to 500 people died in shipwrecks off the Libyan coast.

AsMOAS prepared to commemorate these mass tragedies, our crew were out in the Central Mediterranean on our search and rescue vessel, the Phoenix. Our 2017 mission had launched 2 weeks earlier; a date chosen precisely to avoid yet more April tragedies. As the Phoenix travelled to the zone of operations following a period of bad weather, they knew that many rescues lay ahead of them; but they could never have anticipated the scale of what they were about to face.

Here, we will set out how the weekend unfolded, and how it was that through the determination, teamwork and solidarity among everyone at sea, another mass tragedy was avoided.

On Good Friday, 14th April 2017, throughout the day over 2000 people were rescued by SAR agencies, mostly NGOs and coast guard vessels. The Phoenix participated in the rescue of 273 people, transferring everyone to an Italian coast guard vessel so that our crew could remain in the area to assist

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