Helpers aboard Ocean Viking rescue 176 people from the Mediterranean over the weekend, according to SOS Mediterranee. On Saturday evening, the ship initially took 74 persons from a dinghy, including six unaccompanied minors.
On Sunday morning 102 people were taken by another unseaworthy dinghy on board, including four pregnant women and nine minors. Currently, the Ocean Viking of the aid organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranée in international waters between the Italian island of Lampedusa and Malta. The helpers were waiting for the assignment of a safe harbor to drop the rescued there.
Call to the EU
SOS Mediterranée called for swift action by the EU. This has not yet been able to agree on a solution. "Unfortunately, EU countries have still not found a reliable way to get people rescued from distress to land as soon as possible under international maritime law, and ad hoc agreements should not be the solution," said David Starke, SOS Managing Director Mediterranean Sea Germany. The Ocean Viking must wait since summer for the fourth time with rescued on board to a safe haven. This "humanitarian totally unacceptable situation" must be ended as soon as possible.
Shortly after the first rescue, according to SOS Mediterranée, the Ocean Viking received information from the Libyan seafaring authorities on the night of Sunday about another boat in distress. The search took nine hours, but it remained successful.