Maltese corsairs in Lampedusa (part 3)
At times, Lampedusa was also used to afford care to the sick on board ship. On the 21st of June 1797, Captain Giuseppe Camilleri landed his sick sailors in Lampedusa so that they could be cared for in a better way than aboard. This was not an isolated case.
Antonio Vella, who had served as a clerk with Captain Giovanni Andrea Preziosi in 1779, was disembarked to be cared for at Lampedusa in 1780. That year he was serving as a clerk on board Captain Pietro Zelalich’s vessel. Vella, who hailed from Valletta, succumbed to his illness and passed away in Lampedusa on the 18th of December 1780.
In 1797, Salvatore Asciaq, a 17-year-old sailor, also passed away at Lampedusa. He had disembarked with his fellow sailor Publio Darmanin to walk to the Isola dei Conigli (Rabbit Island, pictured) to hunt for the rabbit which was abundant on the island. While hunting, Salvatore pounced on a rabbit at the same moment as Publio shot at the prey. Salvatore was seriously wounded in the head. He spent six days in agony at Lampedusa, until he finally passed away and was buried there.