The thousand stories of a borderland. The Lieutenant of the Grand Master visits Lampedusa
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, visited Lampedusa, the uttermost strip of Italy in the southern Mediterranean, on 26 September.
The visit had a special significance as it fell during the celebration for the ten-years of cooperation between the Corps of the Port Captaincies–Coast Guard and the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps. It was touching to meet the volunteers helping to save human lives in the southern Mediterranean and listen to their stories of everyday heroism. Lampedusa has thousands of stories to tell. Stories of arrivals and of tragedies. Of difficulties and of hopes.
Accompanied by Grand Commander Fra Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein and Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master met with the newly-appointed mayor of Lampedusa, Salvatore Martello, in the town hall. The meeting focussed on the island’s situation following the recent agreements between Italy and the Libyan authorities with the expansion of Libyan coast-guard capabilities. Not only has the number of arrivals fallen but the type of arrival has also changed. Together with the president of the Order of Malta’s Relief Corps, Gerardo Solaro del Borgo, and national manager Mauro Casinghini, mutual satisfaction was expressed for a well-proven cooperation.
After having visited and met the staff in the Coastguard operations centre, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre embarked on a patrol boat to see for himself how search and rescue at sea was carried out.
In the morning before reaching Lampedusa, in the port of Catania the Lieutenant visited the Coastguard vessel L. Dattilo serving in the southern Mediterranean, received by Rear Admiral Nunzio Martello. Here he congratulated the Order of Malta’s doctor and nurse operating on board. Afterwards, in the Coastguard Air Service headquarters in Catania, there was a meeting with the medical teams of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps operating on board the Coastguard helicopters for search and rescue at sea.