Ausschiffung Geretteter von der Ocean Viking in Pozzallo

Mission report starting July 24: disembarkation of 549 survivors from Ocean Viking is complete

Last updated: 11. August 21 at 16:30 (all times in UTC+1)


From the 1st of July until 5th of July our teams rescued 573 children, women and men in distress. After their disembarkation in Augusta, Sicily, on July 9th and 10 our team underwent a 10-day quarantine.

On July 24th our crew on board the Ocean Viking left Sicily, to resume our life-saving mission in the central Mediterranean. Last week our crew engaged in two search operations.

Since the 31st of June 555 people were brought so safety in six different operations.

On board, the physical condition of survivors deteriorated and the situation on board kept worsening over the days. Only after days of waiting, Pozzallo, Sicily, was assigned as a place of safety on Sunday, August 7. In the morning of the next day, the Ocean Viking docked in the port. After four days, all 549 rescued people disembarked.


11th of August: The disembarkation of 549 survivors from the Ocean Viking in Pozzallo, Sicily, is complete. The process took 4 days. The rescued people spent up to 12 days on our ship.
Our team will start a 10 day quarantine tomorrow.

10th of August: In the morning, the third day of disembarkation of survivors from the Ocean Viking started in Pozzallo, Sicily.

9th of August: The disembarkation stopped for the day in Pozzallo, Sicily. 197 survivors left our ship today, including families and minors. 255 people remain on the Ocean Viking.

8th of August: The Ocean Viking docks in the port of Pozzallo, Sicily. Until the evening, 97 rescued people – unaccompanied minors and medical referrals – disembark.

7th of August: Relief for 549 survivors on the Ocean Viking: Pozzallo, Sicily, was assigned as a place of safety.

6th of August: After a difficult night with rough sea and seasickness among survivors, Ocean Viking still hasn’t received any indication of where and when to disembark.

The medical condition of survivors is worsening by the hour:

  • Increase of infected wounds, general body pain, weakness, headache.
  • Seasickness leads to loss of fluids and inability to eat.
  • All pregnant women are getting weaker on a daily basis.
  • Almost all children suffer from abdominal pain, vomiting and loss of appetite.

All survivors urgently need to disembark in a place of safety.

5th of August: The situation on board keeps worsening over the day.

Two women, one together with her 8-year old child, were evacuated for medical reasons.

With sustained heat and lack of space, tensions and psychological distress are increasing among survivors. Many children are complaining about stomach ache, weakness, headache, loss of appetite.

In the evening, state of the sea deteriorates and we fear for the health of the rescued people. Some of them were rescued up to five days ago.

The disembarkation of 550 survivors in a place of safety is urgent.

3rd of August: We had to request the urgent medical evacuation of a pregnant woman. The patient and her partner have been transferred to an Italian Coastguard vessel.

2nd of August: With increased swells and stifling heat, the physical condition of survivors on board the OceanViking is deteriorating.

Medical Team Leader Francisca explains: “Many are suffering from seasickness today. Some have fainted on our deck due to the heat and the ordeal they lived through. Some obtained injuries during the crossing, many suffer from body pain. We continue to assess, treat and monitor patients, but all survivors need to disembark in a place of safety as soon as possible.”

Ocean Viking requested a Place of Safety to all relevant maritime authorities.

1st of August: The SAR team on Ocean Viking rescued 106 people from an overcrowded wooden boat in distress in the Maltese Search-and-Rescue-Region. The distress case was first spotted by SeaWatch3. The youngest survivor rescued in this operation is just 3 months old. We now have 555 survivors on board.

Night from 31st of July to 1st of August: All night until the early morning, together with Seawatch and Resqship, we were engaged in the critical rescue of ~400 people from a large wooden boat taking on water.

Survivors are now receiving care on Ocean Viking and SeaWatch3. We have 449 survivors onboard in total.

31st of July: 196 people are rescued in four different rescue operations over the day.

Fourth rescue: 21 people, among whom seven are women and three minors, were rescued from a wooden boat in distress in international waters off Libya. The crew of the Ocean Viking was alerted to the distress case by Seawatch aircraft Seabird.

Third rescue: Around noon, 54 people were brought to safety from a rubber boat in distress. Many of the survivors, especially the women, were physically exhausted. Some suffered fuel burns.

Second rescue: In the afternoon, 64 people were rescued from a wooden boat in distress.

First rescue: 57 people are rescued from a rubber boat in distress spotted from the bridge in international waters in the Libyan search-and-rescue-region in the morning.

Among the survivors are eight women, eleven minors, incl. five children under the age of 12.

30th of July: the crew of the Ocean Viking searched for a boat in distress in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region. We saw Libyan Coast Guard patrol vessels in the area. Seabird later confirmed the sighting of a deflated rubber boat in the distress position near Sabratha oil field.

In the evening, a Libyan Coast Guard vessel with survivors onboard passed the #OceanViking while we were patrolling.
We must assume that more men, women and children were unlawfully returned to unsafe #Libya today, back to a horrific cycle of abuse and arbitrary detention.

26th of July: our crew searched for a boat reported in distress by AlarmPhone in the Maltese SAR Region all night, with no information shared by maritime authorities.

Media reports suggest the people were rescued, but the absence of coordination leaves civil rescue assets in the dark.

For more information about our operations please check out our Twitter account or visit our online logbook.

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Photo credits: Flavio Gasperini / SOS MEDITERRANEE