Mission report starting October 26, 2021: place of safety for survivors onboard Ocean Viking

Last updated: 11.11.2021 at 13:26 (all times in UTC+1)

Summary

The Ocean Viking sets sail to the central Mediterranean on October, 30. During the night of November 2, 45* people were rescued. Between November 2 and November 4 the crew of the Ocean Viking rescued 314 people in four different operations. Additionally, it provided the Sea-Eye 4 and around 800 rescued on board with additional food supplies on November 4.

November 6 and 7 two medical evacuations were necessary. The remaining 306 resued people waited for the designation of a place of safety until yesterday, November 10. The Ocean Viking moored in the port of Augusta, Sicily.

Chronology

November 10, 2021: Immense relief onboard the Ocean Viking: Italian maritime authorities informed us the 306 survivors would disembark in Augusta, Sicily. A severe storm is expected again tonight. We call on States to set up a disembarkation mechanism to avoid these repeated standoffs.

Before: 306 people were forced to spend another night on the Ocean Viking, in a storm with 2-m waves washing over the deck. Soaked blankets, plastic survival bags running out, survivors shivering in the cold. Weather conditions remain harsh this morning.
In addition: A navigational warning was issued for the strait of Sicily this morning.

November 9, 2021: 306 survivors woke up to rain pouring on the Ocean Viking deck this morning. After nine requests for a Place of Safety sent to maritime authorities in a week, we are left in the dark. As with each standoff, psychological and physical conditions of survivors worsen by the hour.

November 8, 2021: It has started to rain this morning on the deck of the Ocean Viking. As heavy rain is expected in the next hour medical team members fear for the health conditions of the 306 people rescued last week. A Place of Safety is urgently needed.

November 7, 2021: One minor had to be medically evacuated from the #OceanViking with his young brother by the Italian Coast Guard off Lampedusa. His condition had deteriorated overnight.
As the weather gets worse, the medical team expects increased health issues amongst the 306 remaining aboard.

November 6, 2021: In choppy waters, two people — accompanied by four family members — were medically evacuated from the Ocean Viking by the Italian Coast Guard. The patients suffered from fuel burns and severe medical conditions.
308 survivors now being cared for aboard as we await a place of safety.

4. November 2021, evening: 69 people, including 10 women and 18 minors, have been rescued from distress in darkness and rough sea. Seabird had sent an alert to the distress case in international waters off Libya this afternoon.
314 survivors are now onboard.

4. November 2021, night & morning:
Ocean Viking mobilised to assist around 400 people in distress 10 hours from her position. People were recovered by #SeaEye4 before our arrival on scene. We have assisted #SeaEye4 & over 800 survivors onboard their ship with extra food supplies last night and this morning.

3. November 2021: In the afternoon the teams onboard the Ocean Viking rescued 105 people from an overcrowded wooden boat in distress in international waters off Libya. Among the survivors there are 46 minors (29 are unaccompanied, 7 under 5 years old and 3 infants).
244 survivors are now onboard the Ocean Viking.

2. November 2021, day: The Ocean Viking crew performed a second rescue — of an overcrowded rubber boat in distress in international waters off Libya. The sponsons were deflated and the boat was nearly taking water in. 94 people were recovered. The teams are now caring for 139 survivors.

2. November 2021, night: In the middle of the night, the Ocean Viking spotted people in distress at sea in the dark, just 200 metres away. Team members acted quickly and safely rescued 45 people, including 4 women and 5 minors. The survivors are being cared for by the IFRC-team (International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societes) on deck.

31. October 2021: Search-and-rescue team performed drills at sea while the IFRC-team trained to provide urgent medical care on the deck of the Ocean Viking. As autumn weather sets in across the central Mediterranean, preparation is crucial to conduct safe rescue operations at sea.

26. October 2021: After the mandatory annual inspection of her life-saving appliance devices in the shipyard, Ocean Viking leaves Naples, moors in Augusta and sets sail to the central Mediterranean on October 30.

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

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Photo credits: Claire Juchat / SOS MEDITERRANEE