On 20.12.2019, 162 people were rescued from distress at sea in two challenging missions. After a woman, her small child and her sister had to be evacuated by helicopter on 22 December 2109, the remaining 159 people on board the Ocean Viking disembarked in Taranto (Italy) one day before Christmas.
December 14th: Ready to resume her lifesaving mission, the Ocean Viking just left Marseille for the Central Mediterranean. Teams on board are preparing to face strong winds and high waves as they rescue people from boats in distress at sea.
December 20th: Our teams rescued 112 people from a deflating rubber boat.
BREAKING Early this morning, the #OceanViking rescued 112 people from a deflating rubber boat 34 NM from the Libyan coast. Among them: 24 women, incl. 3 pregnant & 38 children, the youngest just 3 months old. @SOSMedIntl & #MSF teams are relieved they are now all safe onboard pic.twitter.com/TnsLMtex6n
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) December 20, 2019
After eight hours of search, the very same day 50 people are rescued from a wooden boat.
Last night #OceanViking performed a second critical rescue after 8 hrs of search. Fifty people, including 10 children & a baby, were on an overcrowded wooden boat in dire weather conditions in the Maltese search & rescue region. All are now safe on board. pic.twitter.com/ScJ8oDkVDd
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) December 21, 2019
December 22nd: Without being assigned a place of safety assigned the Ocean Viking seeks shelter from the deteriorating weather throughout the day. In the early evening, a woman who was under medical observation – together with her child and her sister – was evacuated.
In the late evening, the Italian authorities designate Taranto (Italy) as a place of safety.
December 23rd: The 159 survivors on board the Ocean Viking disembark in Taranto (Italy)
UPDATE: Disembarkation of the remaining 159 survivors on board the #OceanViking has started in the port of Taranto, Italy. They are all exhausted by their terrifying journey and the very rough weather they faced during the transit. Fortunately, their ordeal at sea is over. pic.twitter.com/enOwmOe2K9
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) December 23, 2019
December 26th – January 6th2020: The Ocean Viking is on her way back to the Mediterranean Sea. Througout this time, weather conditions were rather bad – with strong winds and swell. From 06.01. – 11.01.2020 teams had a regular port call, where parts of the crew change and equipment and food will be taken on board.
11.01.2020: The Ocean Viking sets course for the central Mediterranean Sea.
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Photo credits (cover photo): Johan Persson
Video and photo credits: Laurence Bondard / SOS MEDITERRANEE