From the logbook of Sea-Eye’s Mission 3.
After several days of bad weather, today (14.4.2017) the sea was calm. A total of 18 boats holding about 2,000 people were moving off the Libyan coast and had to be rescued. The cooperation of the participating NGOs with the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and, partly, the Italian coast guard worked extremely well.
At about 05:15 h, after a radio signal from the MRCC, we headed towards the Iuventa (Jugend rettet ship) to support them.
In the meantime the Aquarius (SOS Méditerranée ship) informed us of two positions of rubber boats. Upon arrival at the first position, we found a boat with about 130 people. We provided them with life vests and handed over to the Aquarius.
During the provision of the boat, the MRCC called with a new position. We were to head there immediately. On our way we sighted another boat with 127 people (including 32 women, four of them pregnant). During the provision of this boat we saw a third boat, at a distance of about 3.5 nautical miles from the second boat. The Vos Prudence (MSF ship) was close, but could not help because they were already busy with the provision of several other boats. We decided to take those people directly from the rubber boat on board the Sea-Eye.
Immediately afterwards our dinghy and the Sea-Eye headed towards the third rubber boat. This extremely overcrowded boat held 154 people, who had no room to sit down and who were all standing. The situation on board was very tense and noisy. After we had handed out the life vests, we called the Vos Prudence, which took these 154 people on board.
In the evening, the Vos Prudence started to transfer the 127 people who were on board the Sea-Eye to their ship with two of their dinghies.
Today we saved a total of 411 people (including 40 women and 12 children) from certain death by drowning.
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