Coast guard and military forces in Trapani

The news from last days of 2014 reminded me about some photos I made earlier this year in Trapani. Then it simply seemed odd to see military facilities in the middle of a town and those quite scary information signs near the port, but now, seeing the news, I know why this may be necessary.

Every year thousands of African refugees try to reach Italy’s coasts with hopes for a better life or escaping hell in their homeland. More than 150 000 of those people enter Europe through Italy each year, and there are weekends, when Italian coast guard rescues almost 5000 people from the sea, trying to get to the coastline.

In last week of 2014 two ships reported drifting near the coast of Italy, with more than 400 immigrants each. Ships were abandoned by the crew, with no fuel, in rough sea.