The Address | Benghazi – Libya
MEDITERRANEAN – SOS Mediterranee’s ship the Ocean Viking is now carrying 373 refugees rescued from four boats in international waters off the coast of Libya over the weekend.
Among the rescued are 21 babies, 35 children, and 131 unaccompanied minors.
“The children are the ones who suffer most, who can’t keep their food down, who can’t keep the liquids in,” communication officer Julia Schaefermeyer told the Morning Star newspaper from the ship today.
“We’ve got a five-year-old boy under observation in the medical module,” she said. “The weather is looking really bad … We’re just trying to hold a course and keep the ship in a position where it is as stable as possible. But it is extremely difficult.
“The 373 people we have onboard are remarkable people, each with a remarkable story, some of which are extremely hard to hear.
“But they all deserve the same rights that apply to everyone: the right to disembark in a place of safety after being rescued from distress at sea.
“We are urgently waiting for a place of safety.”
Three pregnant women remain on board the ship; another heavily pregnant woman was evacuated on Saturday by Italian coastguards.
“Two requests for a place of safety were sent to the Libyan maritime authorities,” the non-governmental organization said. “In the absence of an answer, we have requested support from the Maltese and Italian maritime authorities.”