The team of the Ocean Viking, a rescue ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée, came to the aid of 237 migrants in distress off Libya on Thursday as they tried to reach Europe, the NGO announced. .
During a first rescue, Thursday morning, 121 people aboard an overloaded inflatable boat in distress had been rescued. Several were “overboard”, according to the NGO. Among these survivors are 19 women and two young children. Their canoe was “in international waters, 30 nautical miles (about 56 km) off the coast of Al Khoms, in Libya,” says SOS Mediterranean.
A few hours later, the Ocean Viking crew rescued a second boat in distress, carrying 116 people on board. Among all the survivors, underlines SOS Méditerranée, 101 are minors, the vast majority unaccompanied.
The Ocean Viking set sail again in mid-January from Marseille after spending five months stranded in Italy, where the authorities imposed work on it. It is currently the only NGO relief ship in the region. As soon as it returned to sea, the Ocean Viking had rescued 374 migrants attempting the crossing to Europe.
The candidates for exile from various countries mainly leave Tunisia and Libya to reach Europe via Italy, whose coasts are the closest. In total, more than 1,200 migrants perished in 2020 in the Mediterranean, the vast majority of them on this central route, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr