After 82 people could finally go ashore in Lampedusa on Saturday night, the rescue ship Ocean Viking, jointly operated by SOS MEDITERRANEE and Doctors Without Borders, set sail to international waters this morning to resume it´s lifesaving mission. Since the start of her first mission on August 4th, 2019, the Ocean Viking has assisted 440 people in distress in the Central Mediterranean. At the moment, it will be the only civic search-and-rescue asset in the area.
The return to the rescue area took place after the Italian coastguard carried out a port state control on Sunday. It lasted about nine hours and resulted in no major observation.
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Summary of events:
At the 8th of September 2019: 50 people were rescued from a rubber dinghy in distress. The rescue almost lasted three hours.
At the 9th of September 2019: 34 people were brought under difficult weather conditions from the sailing ship Josefa on board the Ocean Viking.
11th of September 2019: A pregnant woman and her husband needed to be evacuated by helicopter from the Ocean Viking to Malta due to medical complications. The medical team on board feared for the safety of mother and child.
UPDATE A nine-month pregnant woman and her husband have just been evacuated from the #OceanViking to #Malta after the woman developed serious medical complications.
We have once again requested a Place of safety for a prompt disembarkation of the remaining 82 survivors. pic.twitter.com/Rn0ffmy7fE
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) September 11, 2019
11th-13th September 2019: SOS MEDITERRANEE was waiting for the disembarkation of the remaining 82 people at a place of safety.
14th of September 2019: In the morning, the teams on board were already informed by the Italian Maritime Rescue Centre that Italy will provide a place of safety. On Saturday night, the 82 people finally reached the shore of Lampedusa after nearly spending a week at sea.
UPDATE Transfer to Italian coast guard vessels to disembark the 82 rescued people onboard the #OceanViking to Lampedusa just started. @SOSMedIntl and @MSF_Sea teams are relieved that men, women and children have finally reached a safe place. pic.twitter.com/0EJ7jBwq7d
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) September 14, 2019
Video credits: Laurence Bondard / SOS MEDITERRANEE; Hannah Wallace Bowman / MSF; Anthony Jean / SOS MEDITERRANEE
Photo credits: Laurence Bondard / SOS MEDITERRANEE