On the 18th of September, in the afternoon, the search and rescue team on board Ocean Viking discovered a boat distress with binoculars. The small dinghy was overcrowded and teams had to use life rafts to mitigate the danger for the people on board. The operation took place 29 nautical miles off the Libyan coast and 73 people – including 18 children – were brought to safety on board Ocean Viking within one and a half hour.
Since Tuesday morning, our teams have been able to save 182 people from drowning – they all now need to be disembarked at place of safety as soon as possible!
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Summary of events:
16.09.2019: in the early evening we reached the rescue area with Ocean Viking. Shortly afterwards a potential sea emergency is spotted. During the detailed investigation of this case our teams had to find out that it was an empty rubber dinghy, which lost air in some places. Probably the people on board were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and brought back to Libya.
17.09.2019 – early morning: From the bridge of Ocean Viking an empty rubber dinghy is discovered again the next morning. Again we have to assume that the people were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and brought back to Libya.
17.09.2019 – morning: 53 nautical miles away from the Libyan coast our teams discover a wooden boat with binoculars. 43 people – including a pregnant woman, a 4-month-old baby and numerous children – are safely brought aboard Ocean Viking.
17.09.2019 – noon: Via the search plane Moonbird the teams learned about another sea emergency and Ocean Viking set course for the last known position. Another rubber dinghy was discovered, which was already filled with water. The 63 people on board were brought safely to Ocean Viking.
Photo credits: Laurence Bondard / SOS MEDITERRANEE