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Mediterranean: 400 migrants waiting aboard Ocean Viking and Open Arms

2019-08-12T08:55:39.507Z

The humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranean conducted Sunday its third rescue in three days off the waters of Libya. 81 people were saved. Now 251 survivors are aboard the Ocean Viking. This is the name of the new ship ...



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The Ocean Viking rescued 85 people in a third operation off the coast of Libya, August 12, 2019. AFP Photos / Anne Chaon

The humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranean conducted Sunday its third rescue in three days off the waters of Libya. 81 people were saved. Now 251 survivors are aboard the Ocean Viking. This is the name of the new ship that the NGO operates with Médecins sans Frontières. François Thomas is the president of SOS Méditerranée.

More than 400 migrants are accommodated on the humanitarian ships Open Arms and Ocean Viking after a third rescue, near Libya, by the latter boat. François Thomas, President of SOS Mediterranean , explains how members of the Ocean Viking have spotted the 81 people in distress saved Sunday: " Ocean Viking has detected movements of a plane of the European force, while we had no contact with this plane. But the ship went to this area and detected a watercraft with a number of people on board. The rescue ended around noon. "

🔴 [BREAKING] The @SOSMedIntl and @MSF_Sea teams have just rescued 81 people from a distressed pneumatic boat located in international waters off the Libyan coast.
There are now 251 survivors aboard # OceanViking # BackAtSea pic.twitter.com/LtslJRYC0E

SOS MEDITERRANEE France (@SOSMedFrance) August 11, 2019

Even if the optimal reception capacity is exceeded for tired people, the humanitarian ship continues to patrol an area located about 110 km from Tripoli to potentially rescue other boats. " It's already a lot of people on board, but the Ocean Viking ship has been adapted to accommodate 200 to 300 people, " says SOS Mediterranean President . So we are in reasonable numbers, even if it's still too much. And we continue to patrol the area, because we are the only ship currently. There are no more aircraft available voluntary pilot NGOs and we are the only ones on the area so. "

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Favorable conditions for departure

The period is conducive to the departure of Libya thanks to the favorable weather conditions, but other factors encourage departures during this period including Eid el-Adha: " it is true that there is this important Muslim festival and that There are fewer supervisors on the Libyan coast, it might also favor crossings. It's important to be there to save lives . "

On the Open Arms , the situation is worrying as the 151 migrants suffered a hot Sunday. They must now spend their 11th day at sea waiting for a decision from the port authorities or the European Commission . For Oscar Camps, founder of the Open Arms , "it is better (to) have fines than to be accomplices ". He refers in particular to the rules in force in Spain and Italy where the ship is at risk of confiscation and fines of around one million euros.

Día 11.
El día de la marmota.
Hoy habrá más evacuaciones, pero las 151 personas that permanecerán has bordo necesitan a puerto seguro YA.
Europa las ha abandonado. Su falta of humanidad es absoluta. #PuertoSeguroYa pic.twitter.com/Pr7t3ABx2Q

Open Arms (@openarms_fund) August 12, 2019

Nine migrants from the Open Arms were able to disembark Sunday night: eight were taken by helicopter to Malta and one to Lampedusa. They were evacuated for suspicion of tuberculosis, pneumonia and because a 32-year-old woman has brain cancer.

In addition, some 30 migrants landed directly on the Italian coast on Sunday: 16 Iranians and Iraqis intercepted on a boat arrived in Puglia and 13 North Africans on a fishing boat that docked on the Sicilian island of Marettimo.

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Source: rfi

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