MOAS Assists Sea Rescue of 700 Migrants

By MarEx 2014-09-08 19:18:00

Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) has provided several hours of intense assistance to Italy’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), conducting the rescue of approximately 700 migrants.

At around 6.40am local time on Monday, whilst on patrol, MOAS spotted a boat in distress carrying approximately 300 migrants. Immediate contact was established with MRCC Rome who directed that the migrant boat is intercepted. Having reported back on the state of the vessel and the people on board, MOAS was eventually directed to assist by taking the migrants on board their vessel Phoenix

All 83 women and children were transferred via ribs to Phoenix where they were given first aid by the two paramedics on board. 

Meanwhile, the Borsini, an Italian warship that forms part of the Mare Nostrum, approached the location. Using MOAS and Italian Navy ribs, the rest of the migrants were all provided with life-jackets and transferred. 

At 11.20am, MOAS became involved in another rescue operation with a wooden boat carrying approximately 400 migrants. MOAS ribs were used to transfer these migrants to the Italian vessel.  Eventually the 83 women and children who hours earlier had been taken onboard and hosted Phoenix were also transferred on the Borsini

The migrants were mostly Syrians, Palestinians and Eritreans, among them a two-day old infant. No lives were lost during the two rescues. 

The migrants included a number of people from Damascus who stated that they had sold their worldly possessions to make the trip. One of those rescued said he sold his house and car and spent $15,000 to get his family away from the conflict.
MOAS, a privately-funded humanitarian initiative consists of a 40-metre ship, Phoenix, conducted by a professional crew of rescuers, seafarers, paramedics and humanitarians.

The vessel is also be equipped with two Schiebel remote piloted aircraft (Camcopter S-100) which can monitor the seas from the sky and provide real-time intelligence to MOAS and the Rescue Coordination Centres of Malta and Italy. MOAS will spend 60 days at sea this summer, divided into various missions.