Italian Navy confirmed that they took control of the Italian fishing boat “Airone”, seized this morning by Libyan militiamen. Personnel boarded the vessel and is now taking it back to Italy.

The military personnel was in the area on migrant rescue duties and responded to reports of the fishing boat seizure.

Mazara del Vallo’s mayor, Nicola Cristaldi, expressed “his graditude towards the Navy that avoided an act of piracy by unidentified Libyan militants that wanted to divert the boat to the Libyan coast using weapons to threaten the fishermen”.

On board of the vessel there are seven seamen, three Italians and four Tunisians.