The Coon Rapids Fire Department recently received two new rescue boats to be used for water rescue operations. One boat is designed for use above the Coon.
Mediterranean rescue boat hit in armed raid off Libyan coast
On 17 August an unidentified speedboat fired at the Bourbon Argos, a rescue boat chartered by Médecins Sans Frontières, hitting the window of the bridge shortly after 9.30am. The MSF team managed to retreat to the ship's safe room before the armed men
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However, prior to their arrival, the attackers appeared to be shooting to kill, said Stefano Argenziano, operations coordinator for the MSF mission. “[We speculate that] They were not warning shots,” he said. “There were a number of bullets shot at us from a distance – with an intention, we believe, to harm and potentially kill. People who were on the bridge, the command-and-control part of the ship, could have been killed or seriously harmed. In a statement, MSF said: “MSF believes that the intruders aimed to physically harm the Bourbon Argos’s staff but thanks to the sound security procedures enacted, all team members were safe. The group added: “MSF strongly condemns this shameful act towards a humanitarian organisation rescuing and delivering lifesaving medical care to those crossing the central Mediterranean Sea. MSF has rescued more than 25,000 refugees from the southern Mediterranean over the past two years, and currently has three different boats operating off the coast of Libya. While the flow of refugees between Turkey and Greece has all but stopped, near-record numbers are still heading from Libya to Italy, and dying in the process. At least 3,100 are thought to have drowned so far this year, leaving MSF with a crucial lifesaving role in the southern Mediterranean. Sent to sea in dangerously flimsy inflatable boats, almost all of them have had to be rescued – either by European navies operating in the area, or by a fleet of humanitarian actors that now includes MSF, Save the Children , and the Migrant... On Thursday, Moas and MSF confirmed their missions would go ahead as planned while both groups assessed the security situation. Though both groups have long prepared for such incidents, last week’s raid is believed to be the first of its kind. MSF said it was still assessing who might have been behind the raid, and analysts agreed it was hard to pinpoint who was responsible, given the complexity of Libya’s civil war. The attackers seemed surprisingly well trained and well equipped, suggesting they came from some of Libya’s better-organised factions. “These were professionals, they were not just random fishermen,” said Argenziano. There are dozens of militias operating along the Libyan coast, as well as special forces from several European countries including the UK, making identification difficult. Some militias are actively involved in the smuggling business, while others have tried to stop it – most effectively in the smuggling hub of Zuwara , where a masked militia is said to have forced most migrant smugglers to either down tools or... Anas El Gomati, the director of the Libyan thinktank the Sadeq Institute , said it was unlikely that Islamic State , which is losing a battle for territory in central Libya, was behind the attack. “You can never rule out Isis, but it doesn’t have the signature PR [follow-up] that Isis goes for when they do these kinds of operations,” said El Gomati. “It also seems beyond Isis’s current capacities, given they are wedged into a war in central Libya. Argenziano said MSF would now spend two weeks assessing the situation before deciding on what long-term steps to take, but stressed that MSF’s commitment to lifesaving operations remained unchanged. “It is important to stress that we are an organisation specialised in working in emergencies and highly insecure contexts,” he said. But Argenziano ruled out working under the direct protection of the European navies operating in the area, citing MSF’s history of acting independently of state actors. He also questioned the role of the naval operations, which are first and foremost meant to be anti-smuggling missions aimed at deterring future migration across the Mediterranean. ” said Argenziano. “People keep on dying in large numbers, while the [arrival] numbers are not going down.
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