Danish plane sent to rescue Mediterranean refugees

Defence department participating in joint EU operation

Danish Defence has once again sent a Challenger aircraft and personnel on a mission in southern Europe to attempt to prevent drownings among the large number of refugees in the Mediterranean.

A statement on the department’s website said a Danish CL-604 Challenger aircraft and five men were sent to the US air base in Sigonella, Sicily. An additional man was sent to Rome.

The contribution is part of Joint Operation Triton under the EU’s border agency, Frontex.

Record numbers
Danish aircraft and personnel were part of monitoring maritime traffic in the Mediterranean earlier in the summer, making seven flights in ten days in June and July.

The Danish contingent will patrol and monitor maritime traffic around Malta and along the coasts of the Italian islands of Sicily and Lampedusa.

Some 25 other European countries are taking part in the joint operation.

July was a record month for refugees with over 100,000 migrants landing on European shores. That number was triple the number of refugees who sought asylum last July.

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Almost half of the migrants counted in July sailed across the Aegean Sea to the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos and Kos.