More than 400 migrants aboard a wooden boat were rescued by three NGOs in the central Mediterranean overnight from Saturday to Sunday, bringing the number of people collected over the weekend to nearly 600, announced SOS Mediterranean. “The rescue carried out in international waters was perilous, the large wooden boat in which more than 400 people were in the process of taking to the water,” said a spokesperson for the European NGO SOS Méditerranée. the “Ocean Viking”, a rescue vessel at sea.
The survivors rescued until the early hours by three boats: the “Nadir” of the NGO ResQship, the “Sea-Watch 3” of the NGO Sea-Watch and the “Ocean Viking” were then distributed over these two last.
Fifth operation in a few days
This is the fifth rescue operation carried out by the “Ocean Viking” since Saturday. The ship which had already taken in 196 people during various rescues off Libya now has 449 survivors on board. Among them 28 women, two of whom are pregnant, and 81 minors, 66 of whom are unaccompanied. They will receive care like those who found refuge on the “Sea-Watch 3”, specifies SOS Méditerranée.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 1,146 people died at sea in the first half of 2021 while trying to reach Europe. SOS Méditerranée claims to have rescued more than 30,000 people since February 2016, first with the “Aquarius”, then the “Ocean Viking”.