Armed Forces of Malta rescues over 2,700 people at sea in 2018
The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) rescued 2,731 people at sea in 2018, data tabled parliament by the country's home affairs minister Michael Farrugia showed, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Farrugia, who was asked for the total number of rescue operations as well as the number of people saved every year since 2013, said that the AFM had carried out 88 rescue operations.
The 2018 figures were substantially higher than those registered in 2017 when 847 people were rescued in 55 operations.
The second highest number of rescued individuals in the past five years was recorded in 2013, when 1,854 people were saved in 76 operations. The following year, 2014, saw the lowest number of people rescued -- 602 in 34 operations.
Totally, AFM has rescued over 8,500 people from the sea since 2013.
As there have been a clampdown on NGO-run rescue vessels in the Mediterranean in recent months, more migrant boats would require the AFM's assistance.