These photos are "Night Shot" pictures taken with my wife's Sony H9 camera. The story below explains what happened.



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We were eating dinner in the ship's main dining room when at about 8:20 PM I sensed the ship making some unusual movement. It was still light enough to see the horizon and the seas were fairly calm. I could tell the ship was not pitching or rolling, so I just ignored the sensation.

About 20 minutes later the Captain came on the intercom and said a lookout had spotted a small boat with some people waving life jackets. We were about 20 miles off the shore of Tunisia and in international waters, so the Captain followed standard procedure and made a sharp turn to approach the boat. When we got close he lowered the ship's "fast boat", which is a high-powered Zodiac-type craft, and discovered that the people in trouble were in fact 8 young male refugees from Algeria who were trying to get to Sardinia. From our position Sardinia was nearly 50 miles away.

The refugees had started out with an operational outboard motor, but it soon stopped working and they had only a couple of oars. Their boat was being pulled by the sea's currents and it was clear they were never going to make it to Sardinia. The captain said the fast boat would provide them blankets, food, and water while he contacted the local Coast Guard to see if they would come pick the men up.

By this time we had finished dinner, it was totally dark outside, and the ship's fast boat was helping the small boat stay close to our ship. I got my wife's Sony H9 which has the ability to take photos in total darkness and went to the lowest deck to see what was going on.  These photos are the result. 

Later the Captain told us that neither Algerian nor Italian Coast Guard wanted to do anything about the small boat or the people in it, so our ship took the 8 survivors on board, kept them in the crew quarters under guard, and arranged for them to be returned to Algeria the next day.  We never heard what happened to them after that.