Freighter Blue Sky M with hundreds of migrants but no crew intercepted by Italian authorities
Italian Coast Guard team boarded freighter Blue Sky M from helicopters near Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost tip of the heel of Italy, Ionian Sea, on Dec 30. Vessel was heading straight for the coastline with some 600 migrants on board and no crew. Alarm was raised earlier on Dec 30, when Greek Coast Guard was alerted by a distress call from Blue Sky M, claiming the vessel was under control of armed men. Greek helicopter and frigate closed the vessel off Corfu island, but were reassured by presumably, the Captain, who said that everything is in order and vessel is proceeding to Italy, though according to AIS, vessel was sailing to Croatia. Italian officials, who boarded the vessel, found out, that the crew left the vessel, she was sailing towards Italian coastline on autopilot. Most probably, it’s a migrants trafficking case. Crew was paid to take migrants to Italy, and that’s what they actually, did. They left the vessel fearing detention and prosecution, most probably because something went wrong and the authorities of Greece and Italy were alerted. There’s little doubt now, that some regional sub-standard shipowners are making business on illegal human trafficking.