MOAS is a privately funded organization that spends 91% 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.
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. MOAS is now extending its operations to south-east Asia where, again, there are no other private search-and-rescue assets.
Thanks to generous donors, MOAS has become a global foundation that can respond quickly wherever a crisis arises.
The plight of people forced onto the sea is not unique to Europe. Ethnic minorities in south-east Asia, such as the Rohingya in Myanmar, are either lured or forced onto smugglers’ boats. Many of these migrants end up kidnapped, abandoned or in distress. The use of the ocean to escape poverty, war, famine and hardship is not new, and it is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future. MOAS will continue to use its supporters’ donations to provide legal humanitarian assistance at sea wherever resources allow.
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.