The Generation, Yeat 01, Issue 11
The Ocean Viking rescue vessel has picked up 128 stranded migrants in three operations off the coast of Libya, the Marseille-based SOS Mediterranee which runs the ship said on Saturday. The Italian authorities then designated the port of Ortona, located in the centre of the country on the Adriatic coast, to disembark the survivors, much to the dismay of the NGO, which criticised this “distant” choice.
“They will have to endure three more days of pointless sailing to finally reach a safe place,” the group complained in a statement. On Friday night, the Ocean Viking carried out two rescues, following alerts received on a migrant alert phone number, both in “the Libyan search and rescue region”.
In the first they took 33 people from a boat that was “unseaworthy”, and on which no one was wearing a life jacket. Four hours later 34 other migrants were rescued in similar circumstances. Several of those picked up had severe fuel burns, with one collapsing after boarding Ocean Viking, the NGO. Then on Saturday afternoon, following a distress signal relayed by a fishing vessel, the Ocean Viking rescued 61 more people, including three women and two children, from a wooden boat in distress in international waters off Libya.
Source: AFP, Marseille