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

MOAS believes that no one deserves to die at sea.

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.

We are proud to have rescued over 30,000 people from the world’s deadliest maritime migration routes.

Established in response to the humanitarian disaster in October 2013, in which some 400 men, women and children drowned off the island of Lampedusa, MOAS has grown rapidly. Our rescue operations are carried out by professional search and rescue officers, operations specialists, and post-rescue care providers, while a team of skilled professionals in fundraising, communications and development oversee administration.

Using innovative technology in cooperation with coastal authorities, we provide desperately needed professional search and rescue operations.

In the years since our launch, we have worked with multiple partners in several regions, and have seen the devastating consequences of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our era. With our disaster relief initiatives needed more than ever, we are calling on the international community to rethink the global migration ‘crisis’ and urgently find sustainable solutions.

Join our call for #SafeAndLegalRoutes; support our life-saving mission in the Mediterranean Sea.


What is MOAS

MOAS is a registered NGO dedicated to mitigating the loss of life at sea by providing professional search and rescue services along the world’s most dangerous migrant routes. In 2014 and 2015, MOAS rescued and assisted more than 11,600 people in the Mediterranean with its flagship vessel, the Phoenix. In 2016, thanks to the support received from people around the world, the organisation expanded its operations to the Aegean Sea where it operated with a second vessel, the Responder. On 6 June, MOAS launched its third consecutive Central Mediterranean mission, operating with both vessels in the same region for the first time. To date, MOAS has rescued and assisted over 30,000 men, women and children.

The MOAS crews consist of a dedicated and experienced team of sailors, search and rescue professionals and emergency medical responders.

What does MOAS do?

MOAS supports search and rescue efforts at sea by locating vessels in distress. When such a vessel is sighted, MOAS informs the appropriate official maritime rescue coordination centre and helps to determine the vessel’s condition and the needs of those on board. The crew then assists as directed; by 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 organisation assumes its moral and legal obligation and acts to save lives.


In 2014 MOAS launched the first private search and rescue initiative in the Mediterranean. In two ‘sailing season’, the organisation rescued and assisted more than 11,600 men women and children.

On 23 December 2015, MOAS launched its Aegean mission in response to the crisis on the Turkey – Greece border, where countless Syrians where attempting the crossing to reach Europe and seek asylum from the ongoing civil war back home. In just three months, MOAS rescued and assisted 1,869 people.

On 6 June, MOAS returned to the Central Mediterranean with two vessels and a greater capacity than ever to save lives at sea. The mission is currently still in operation, with over 30,000 people having been rescued and assisted.

Thanks to generous donors, MOAS has now become an international NGO able to 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, completing its proof of concept in 2014. This initial 60-day mission was funded through the contributions of our founders and donations from private citizens.

From 2015, MOAS was privately funded through the support of the public, grant-making organizations, crowd-funding initiatives, foundations and corporate sponsorship.  Operational partners, such as MSF, Red Cross Italy and the International Federation of the Red Cross, have also been major contributors to our mission.

In October 2016, MOAS received its first grant from the Swiss Development Agency SDC, marking our first contribution from any state-affiliate and further securing MOAS’ long-term sustainability.

How can I get involved?

To keep our mission sustainable, MOAS relies on donations: you can help by clicking here. If you want to help with fundraising, please get in touch with the MOAS team at info@moas.eu using the subject line FAO: Fundraising. While MOAS currently does not have the capacity to accept donations of clothing or food, we do accept donations of maritime/search-and-rescue equipment and technology. For more information, or if you represent a foundation or a private company interested in partnering with MOAS for the purposes for operations, fundraising or advocacy please email us at info@moas.eu.

To ask about getting involved as a photographer or journalistic embed or for information on our PR/Media initiatives please email pr@moas.eu.


MOAS issues receipts for tax deductions applicable in Malta, Germany and the US as long as donations are channeled through the relevant platform. Please follow the instructions on the Donate page by clicking here or email info for guidance on how to donate please email us at info@moas.eu