July 25, 2021

In the Mediterranean, 369 migrants rescued by the “Ocean-Viking”

L’Ocean-Viking, SOS Méditerranée’s rescue ship at sea, took in 369 new migrants on the night of Sunday 4 to Monday 5 July. This is the NGO’s sixth Mediterranean relief operation in a few days.

For this rescue, a “Large wooden boat” has been reported “In distress in the Libyan search and rescue region” late Sunday afternoon, said a spokesperson for the NGO.

The boat was first spotted on radar and then visually around 10 p.m. local time, and rescue operations then lasted more than five hours. Among the 369 people rescued on board, SOS Méditerranée has identified nine women, an infant, two children and 110 unaccompanied minors, originating in particular from Egypt, Bangladesh or Eritrea.

572 migrants on board

Sunday afternoon, theOcean-Viking had previously assisted 71 migrants at risk on an extremely overloaded wooden boat in the Maltese search and rescue area. Its occupants were fleeing Libya, which they had left three days earlier. With no food or water on board, they were exhausted by the time of the rescue. In total, the boat now has 572 survivors on board, says SOS Méditerranée on its Twitter account.

The United Nations recently pinned Libya and the European Union, calling on them to reform their search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea and affirming that current practices deprive migrants of their rights and dignity, when they do not take their lives.

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Since the start of 2021, 866 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration. SOS Méditerranée claims to have rescued more than 30,000 people since February 2016, first with its ship named Aquarius, then with theOcean-Viking.

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The World with AFP