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Rescue operations in the central Mediterranean

Published on 19.03.2024

Since 28th February 2024, a protection delegate has been made available to IFRC by CRM in order to support humanitarian rescue operations in the central Mediterranean. These marine search and rescue operations are conducted aboard the vessel ‘Ocean Viking’ chartered by the partner association SOS Méditerranée with the aim of saving the lives of migrants in distress.

Our delegate CRM is currently aboard the ‘Ocean Viking’ (OV) for an initial 6-week rotation (until 17th April 2024). Three rotations are currently scheduled as part of cooperation with IFCR.

Between 13th and 15th March, 4 rescue operations were carried out and 361 people were rescued.

The teams onboard Ocean Viking operated four separate missions within a 48-hour period this week, rescuing 361 men, women, and children from perilous conditions at sea.

One of the rescues was of 25 survivors from a raft on which more than 60 died before help arrived. Those 25 have now been disembarked. Two were medically evacuated by helicopter (despite all efforts, one subsequently died). The other 23 survivors were transferred at the anchorage off the Sicilian port of Catania to land for urgent medical care. (press release IFRC)

The 336 survivors from the other three rescues who were on board the Ocean Viking heading to Ancona, disembarked in Ancona on the evening of March 18 in pouring rain.

The OV is currently sailing towards Syracuse from where it will leave on Sunday to continue its rescue missions off the coast of Libya. (Allez à la page d'accueil)

Press release : 16/03/2024

IFRC and SOS MEDITERRANEE urgently call for a closer port of safety for survivors of Mediterranean tragedies

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