“This morning, a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Maritime Task Force (MTF) ship located at sea outside Lebanese territorial waters a boat with 37 people inside. Unfortunately, one of them had already passed away.
The main priority for our peacekeepers was to rescue the remaining 36 people and ensure their safety by providing immediate assistance.
UNIFIL MTF immediately informed the Lebanese authorities.
All the 36 survivors are currently being provided immediate medical treatment on board the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force ship before being transferred to the Lebanese authorities.
At this moment, the MTF ship is moving towards the Port of Beirut.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col said: “This is a very tragic incident and our UNIFIL Maritime Task Force peacekeepers are doing their utmost to save the lives of these people. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of all the 36 people we have just rescued.”
The first Naval Force to be part of a UN peacekeeping mission, the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force has been deployed at the request of the Lebanese Government to assist the Lebanese Navy in securing the territorial waters and to help prevent the unauthorized entry of arms or related materiel by sea into Lebanon. In addition, the Maritime Task Force has been working with the Lebanese Navy to strengthen the latter’s capabilities to secure its maritime borders and assume effective security control over Lebanese territorial waters.
UNIFIL Maritime Task Force has also taken part in humanitarian efforts in the past when called upon."