A Lifeline To Save Lives

We believe that no one deserves to die at sea – and we are working hard to ensure that no one does.

About MOAS

Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea by providing professional search and rescue to people who are in distress.

MOAS was established in response to a humanitarian disaster in October 2013 in which some 400 men, women and children drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa, more typically an idyllic holiday destination, not a graveyard.

In the past two decades tens of thousands of men, women and children, mostly refugees escaping violence, persecution and hardship, have lost their lives at sea while searching for a better life.

The busiest crossings in the Mediterranean are the western, central and eastern routes as people flee from places as far off as Eritrea, Somalia and Syria. Many refugees in south-east Asia who are lured out to sea by promises of a better life end up trapped, kidnapped, abused and forced to buy their freedom from smugglers.

The MOAS team consists of international humanitarians, security professionals, medical staff and experienced maritime officers who have joined forces to help mitigate loss of life at sea.

We are passionate about the plight of those who are desperate enough to put themselves and their families in danger as they flee violence, persecution and oppression by setting off on the world’s most deadly maritime migration routes.

In our first two years we have already rescued nearly 12,000 people at sea, thanks to our dedicated crews, specialized search-and-rescue equipment and effective coordination with official maritime rescue centres.

We operate in full compliance with national and international law in all our areas of operation.


What is MOAS

MOAS is a privately funded organization that spends 85% of its donations on assisting migrants at risk on the sea. The foundation was established following several catastrophes in the Mediterranean, which migrants regularly attempt to cross in unseaworthy vessels in order to reach Europe. In 2014 and 2015, MOAS rescued more than 11,600 people in the Mediterranean. In 2016 the organization is expanding its operations to south-east Asia.

MOAS has equipped a 40-metre vessel, the MY Phoenix, with two remotely piloted aircraft and two rigid hull inflatable boats. The crew consists of an experienced team of sailors, search-and-rescue professionals and emergency medical responders.

What does MOAS do?

MOAS supports search-and-rescue efforts by locating vessels in distress. When such a vessel is sighted, MOAS informs the appropriate official maritime rescue coordination centre and then assists as directed or as required by the situation.


When a migrant vessel is sighted by Phoenix or one of its aerial assets, the crew immediately relays that information to the appropriate official maritime rescue coordination centre to help determine the vessel’s condition and the migrants’ needs. Then the crew assists as directed, providing water, food, lifejackets, blankets, medical evaluations and emergency treatment.

Whenever MOAS is at sea and deems there is imminent danger of loss of life, the organization assumes its moral and legal obligations and acts to save lives.


The impressive work conducted by coast guards, navies and vessels from the commercial sector are highly welcome and commended. MOAS believes that saving lives is a shared responsibility, which is why it works closely with maritime rescue coordination centres. The more resources at sea, the fewer avoidable deaths.


In 2014 MOAS launched the first private rescue ship in the Mediterranean. In two ‘sailing seasons’, the organization saved more than 11,600 men, women and children.

Thanks to generous donors, MOAS has become a global foundation that can respond quickly wherever a crisis arises.

Who funds MOAS?

MOAS was designed and founded by Christopher and Regina Catrambone in conjunction with search-and-rescue professionals. In 2014 the organization completed its proof of concept. In 2015 MOAS became a privately funded charity supported by people like you and key organizations around the world. Major sponsors include OGI, Schiebel, Caritas Germany, Unique Maritime Group and Avaaz.org.

How can I get involved?
  • To make the project sustainable, MOAS accepts donations: You can help by clicking here
  • If you want to help with fundraising, please get in touch with the MOAS team at fundraise@moas.eu
  • If you would like to work with MOAS, please click here and explain how you can help
  • If you represent a foundation or a private company interested in partnering with MOAS, please email us at partners@moas.eu
  • MOAS currently does not have the capacity to accept donations of clothing or food, but it does accept donations of maritime/search-and-rescue equipment and technology. For more information, email us at info@moas.eu

MOAS issues receipts for tax deductions applicable in Malta, Germany and the US. Please follow the instructions on the Donate page by clicking here.