A complete of 374 migrants have been rescued in two days, mentioned SOS Mediterranee, which operates Ocean Viking assist vessel.More than 370 migrants and refugees have been rescued off the coast of Libya by the Ocean Viking humanitarian vessel in two days, a French NGO operating the boat mentioned on Saturday.
SOS Mediterranee mentioned that “106 people were rescued … in international waters 28 nautical miles (52km) from the Libyan coast” on Friday night.
“The majority of the people aboard an inflatable rubber dinghy were found intoxicated by oil fumes,” it mentioned. They got here from Guinea, Sudan and Sierra Leone.
On Friday morning, the Ocean Viking picked up 149 folks from two boats following an SOS sign, together with 58 minors and 4 infants – one only a month previous, it mentioned.
Since Thursday, a complete of 374 folks have been rescued by the Ocean Viking, of whom 165 are youngsters, SOS Mediterranee mentioned.
A complete of 131 minors are unaccompanied.
UPDATE Within 48 hours, the @SOSMedIntl group rescued four overcrowded rubber boats in misery.
Of the 374 survivors onboard #OceanViking, there are 21 infants and 35 youngsters. 131 unaccompanied minors. 2 pregnant girls. All survivors urgently must disembark in a Place of Safety. pic.twitter.com/5KVZYrqo1L
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) January 23, 2021
War-torn Libya acts as a significant gateway for African migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe.
Human smugglers primarily based in Libya launch vessels, lots of them flimsy rubber dinghies or rickety fishing boats, crowded with migrants who hope to reach European shores to hunt asylum.
The central Mediterranean route is described by the UNHCR as probably the most harmful migration route on this planet – one in six individuals who depart the shores of North Africa dies.
While many have drowned at sea, hundreds have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguard, which has been backed by Italy and the European Union, and returned to Libya.
They largely find yourself in detention, usually in horrific circumstances.
Since February 2017, not less than 36,000 folks have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and returned to the North African nation, UN figures present.
The Ocean Viking took to the seas on January 11 after being blocked in Italy for 5 months earlier than being launched in December. Authorities had cited alleged issues of safety for the hold-up.
Ocean Viking is at present the only rescue ship run by an NGO within the space, based on SOS Mediterranee’s head, Sophie Beau, who mentioned “the others have been blocked by Italian authorities like the Ocean Viking earlier”.
Most migrants depart from Libya and Tunisia making an attempt a hazardous Mediterranean crossing to attempt to enter Europe by Italy.
More than 1,200 died final 12 months whereas attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
According to Italian inside ministry knowledge, there was an uptick within the variety of folks attempting to reach Italy with not less than 31,000 refugee arrivals in 2020, in contrast with almost 10,000 over the identical interval final 12 months.