By Sami Zaptia.
London, 3 January 2017:
Various NGOs report that they continued in the early hours of the first day of 2017 to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean Sea setting off from Libya.
The Maltese-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) rescue ship, the Aquarius, carried out its first search and rescue operation just outside Libyan territorial waters in the early hours of the first of January 2017 saving 114 people. The horror continues’’ reported MSF.
They included men women and children spotted in a solitary rubber boat out at sea in total darkness at around 4 am. The various NGOs conducting the rescue operation, including MOAS, MSF and SOS Mediterranee, say nobody was reported missing by those on board.
Another rubber boat with 120 men on board was also rescued by the Aquarius in windy conditions and high waves. MSF reported that 230 were successfully rescued in 24 hours between the first and second of January.
These latest rescue numbers come on the back of International Organization for Migration (IOM) figures of 358,403 migrants arriving by sea into Europe with 4,913 deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, 4,410 of which were deaths off Libyan waters.