The European NGO, the Ocean Viking, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean, announced that it had picked up on Saturday 196 migrants who were on “boats in distress” off the coast of Libya.
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On Saturday morning, SOS Mediterranean said the Ocean Viking first rescued 57 people aboard a “rubber boat in distress” that was sailing in international waters off Libya.
Then in the afternoon, the crew carried out two more rescue operations in the same area: around noon, 54 people on an inflatable boat, including women, were taken to safety. “Some of the survivors suffered from fuel burns,” the NGO adds.
France Press agency
A little later, another 64 people were rescued from a wooden boat. Then a fourth rescue took place, following an alert from the Seabird plane of the NGO Sea Watch. Twenty-one people, including seven women and three minors, who were on a wooden boat were rescued, bringing the number of survivors aboard the rescue ship to 196. Among them are at least two pregnant women.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 1,146 people died at sea in the first half of 2021 while trying to reach Europe.
SOS Méditerranée claims to have rescued more than 30,000 lives since February 2016, first with Aquarius, then Ocean Viking.
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