Italian fishing boat shot at by the Libyan Coast Guard

Jul 18, 2023 | Libyan actors

On the morning of 18 July, the Italian fishing boat ‘Orizzonte’ was machine-gunned about 94 nm north of Misrata (i.e. outside Libyan territorial waters) by a Libyan Coast Guard vessel. However, the crew of six remained unharmed. The shots were fired from aboard a patrol boat handed over by Italy to the Libyan Coast Guard. The Libyans boarded the boat and confiscated the satellite phone cards.

After receiving an emergency call from the fishing boat immediately after the beginning of the attack, the Italian Navy dispatched a helicopter from the offshore patrol vessel ‘Orione’ to support the ‘Orizzonte’. The crew of the helicopter demanded the Libyans depart from the fishing boat. They returned to their own boat and left the scene. The fishing boat was temporarily unable to manoeuvre, as the rudder was damaged by machine-gun fire. After the rudder was repaired, the ‘Orizzonte’ was escorted to Sicily by the ‘Orione’.The Italian embassy immediately protested to the MFA and the Libyan Coast Guard and requested a clarification of the incident.