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On 6 and 7 October, more than 370 people were rescued off the Libyan coast after their vessels were detected on satellite images taken as part of Frontex’s Eurosur Fusion Services.

The operation was made possible by the cooperation between Frontex and EMSA, Italian authorities and EUNAVFOR MED. On 6 October, the Frontex Situation Centre in cooperation with EMSA spotted several small boats on a satellite scan of an area close to the Libyan coast where migrant boats in distress are often detected. The information was passed on to the Italian authorities, which informed the EUNAVFOR MED flagship, Cavour, present in the area. As a result, more than 370 migrants aboard three rubber boats were rescued and brought to the Italian shores.

Eurosur is an information exchange framework designed to improve the management of Europe’s external borders. The Eurosur services already include automated large vessel tracking and detection capabilities. Recent upgrades of their technical capabilities make it possible to spot smaller vessels.