· · · — — — · · · stands for SOS! A universal distress signal used to request immediate assistance in cases of mortal danger. This Morse code “· · · — — — · · ·” sent by ships in distress seemed to be a thing of the past.
But in the Mediterranean, it is more important than ever: Children, women and men in makeshift, overcrowded and unseaworthy inflatable boats need our help. It is our duty as civil society to answer their calls for help. #AnswerTheirSOS.
Only recently, over 100 people drowned in four different shipwrecks within 72 hours. And people will continue to try to cross the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy boats. There is no other way for them to escape widespread abuse, forced labour, arbitrary arrest, sexual violence and extortion in Libya.
In the face of a devastating lack of state-led rescue capacities, the presence of civilian rescue vessels make a difference: It means a chance of survival for people in distress at sea. The fact that Ocean Viking and other humanitarian vessels are being detained and blocked by all kinds of political and bureaucratic methods, while the state-led European search and rescue capacity is still lacking, is outrageous!
Giving up is not an option! Since the detention we have been working tirelessly to get the Ocean Viking released. On board, for example, we are replacing the current life rafts with eight larger life rafts, each with a capacity to carry one hundred people. Our emergency and evacuation procedures are also currently being adapted in several respects. This is a long and costly process.
Help us to resume our life-saving mission as fast as possible, to be able to respond to the emergency calls of children, women and men.