L’Ocean-Vikinga ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée, rescued 438 migrants in distress off the coast of Libya and Tunisia in two days, announced on Friday August 25 the humanitarian NGO, based in Marseille. The organization said it took charge of Thursday “272 people survived”who were on three boats, including “thirty-two unaccompanied minors, nine babies and five people with disabilities”, while “Twenty-three nationalities [seraient] represented ».
SOS Méditerranée has announced that it has recovered 166 additional people after having “assisted multiple boats in distress (…) in coordination with the Italian Coast Guard, in the search and rescue area between Tunisia and Lampedusa”. In total, “438 survivors are currently on board”said the NGO, adding that its ship “is now on her way to Genoa [nord-est de l’Italie] ».
The most dangerous migration route in the world
In June, a shipwreck claimed at least 82 lives in the eastern Mediterranean. This drama was presented as one of the most serious involving migrants in the Mediterranean.
In early August, the same ship had rescued 623 people in distress during fifteen rescues that occurred in thirty-six hours southwest of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Among these migrants, the NGO had identified 161 minors, most of them isolated, as well as two pregnant women.
The central Mediterranean is the most dangerous migration route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration. The UN agency estimates that since the beginning of 2023, 2,013 people have disappeared there, compared to 1,417 in 2022.