20. February 2020 48 hours – 395 people rescued

The day before yesterday, the Ocean Viking rescued 182 people in two operations, and in a third operation yesterday an additional 92 people were rescued from an inflatable boat – in less than 48 hours the Ocean Viking has saved 274 people from drowning or from push-back to the Libyan camps. At the same time the Sea-Watch 3 was able to take another 121 people on board. They were in distress on a bursting full dinghy.

During the last days, when no civilian rescue vessels were on the scene, hundreds of push-backs by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard were documented. The Alarm Phone also repeatedly reported that the Armed Forces of Malta have delayed rescue operations for many hours. The situation in the Mediterranean is and remains life-threatening for people in search of protection. Europe must be aware of its responsibility and respond to the many maritime emergencies not with further isolation but with sea rescue.

We are glad that NGO rescue vessels are searching for people in distress at sea in the Mediterranean and that the civilian fleet continues to defend human rights.