Doctors Without Borders Rescue More Boat Migrants in Mediterranean


Aug 18, 2021

The organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rescued more than 60 boat migrants from distress in the central Mediterranean Sea in night-time operations.

This brings the number of people rescued on board the Geo Barents vessel to around 320, the organization announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

Initially, the crew had brought just over 30 people, including a 2-week-old baby, on board. In a further rescue operation, the volunteers brought almost 30 migrants to safety.

The Geo Barents had already rescued more than 200 people from distress at sea on Sunday night and Monday afternoon.

Alongside MSF, Italian sea rescue vessel ResQ People saved 165 migrants from distress at sea.

The vessel, run by ResQ, was given permission to dock in the Sicilian port of Augusta on Tuesday night, the group said in a tweet.

After landing, the ship will have completed its first sea rescue mission in the Mediterranean since being renamed.

The ResQ People used to belong to the Germany-based Sea Eye rescue group. The ship formerly sailed under the name Alan Kurdi, in memory of a dead Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach.

Sea Eye sold the ship to ResQ to raise funds for another boat.

In the central Mediterranean, private organizations repeatedly rescue migrants at sea. Overcrowded boats usually set sail from the coasts of Libya or Tunisia to reach the European Union.

The crossing is dangerous, and it is not uncommon for people to find themselves in distress at sea or unable to manoeuvre.

So far this year, 1,010 migrants have died in the central Mediterranean, according to UN figures. In the same period last year, just under 380 people died.

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