This short comics “Left to drown” is based on the real-life accounts of 13 survivors who were found adrift on a flimsy rubber boat in the Central Mediterranean by MSF in June 2023.

When the Geo Barents arrived, people reported that one person had gone overboard and is believed to have died. The Maltese and Italian authorities had been informed more than 38 hours before by Alarm Phone about the distress boat. During this time-lapse, a patrol boat from the Armed Forces of Malta came twice on the scene, providing fuel as well as some water and food to the people in distress and instructed them to continue to Italy, while ignoring their desperate calls for help and actively refusing to rescue them.

This tragic story highlights how Malta’s deliberate and systematic policy of non-assistance in the Central Mediterranean is putting at risk people in distress and is yet another example of the harmful consequences of EU migration policies and practices.

In October 2023, MSF already released a joint statement with Sea-Watch and AP about that case, including a full reconstruction of the events:

There has also been an investigation done by Reuters about the same case.