MOAS Begins Third Mission With Rescue of 97 Migrants

Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) has helped save almost 3,000 lives in the Mediterranean Sea during its 60-day mission which comes to an end today.

Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) on Thursday set sail for this year’s third and Ginal mission, rescuing 97 people in less than 24 hours.
Phoenix, the 40-metre vessel being used by MOAS, was on Friday afternoon directed to the location of a rubber dinghy by Rome’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.
At 6.30pm, Phoenix spotted the migrant craft carrying 97 people, including four women, one of whom was six-months pregnant. The pregnant woman made the journey alone, except for a female friend who she met in Libya.
The rescued migrants had spent around 12 hours at sea after leaving Libya. They were originally from Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone and Benin.
MOAS took the migrants on board, where medical staff provided Girst aid, blankets, food and water.
After being directed to Italy for disembarkation, Phoenix arrived outside Porto Empedocle on Saturday at 9pm. The port authorities evacuated the pregnant woman and her companion for treatment. The transfer of the remaining 95 people began at 9am on Sunday.

MOAS is a private NGO initiative to save lives in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world’s deadliest border crossings. Its aim is to provide assistance at sea in co-ordination with the RescueCoordination Centres in the region.

“In previous rescues we were able to transfer the migrants onto Italy’s Mare Nostrum vessels, allowing us to immediately return to other rescue operations. This enables us to use our resources more effectively to save lives,” said founder Christopher Catrambone.

MOAS has assisted Italy’s Mare Nostrum mission with the rescue of more than 2,300 migrants since its Girst operation started on August 26th. All migrants have been handed over to the Italian Authorities.

Regina Catrambone launched an urgent appeal for donations.

“Now that Mare Nostrum is coming to an end, the urgency to save lives is even greater. We are very grateful to all the people around the world who have donated to MOAS, but there is still a long way to go until we can ensure future missions,” she said.
She gave special thanks to US-based NGO Medical Bridges which donated a large amount of medical supplies that have been crucial to the operation and hoped that others will come forward with offers for assistance. We are now at a juncture she concluded, We have shown that with initiative and determination lives can be saved. We are now asking for support so that we can continue our mission in November and December.

 

To monitor the progress of the vessel and keep up to date with the latest news, follow MOAS on twitter @moas_eu and use the hashtag #MOAS to enter discussions about migration. Donations can be made on www.moas.eu