The "Geo Barents" rescued 119 more refugees in the Mediterranean on Saturday night. The people - including seven minors - were on a wooden boat, said the organization "Doctors Without Borders", which operates the ship, on Saturday on Twitter. All survivors are now on board the rescue ship and are being cared for. The ships of other organizations had also rescued dozens of refugees and migrants in the past few days.
After the latest rescue operation, there are more than 500 people seeking protection on board the "Geo Barents". The crew of the "Ocean Viking", maintained by the international network SOS Méditerranée, claims to also be caring for 234 people, including more than 40 unaccompanied minor refugees. The "Humanity 1" of the German organization "SOS Humanity" persevered on Saturday with almost 180 refugees and migrants in search of a European port.
In the Mediterranean Sea, crossing which is one of the most dangerous escape routes in the world, there is no state-organized sea rescue service. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 1,757 people have died or are missing during the crossing this year. The number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.
The private sea rescuers often have to wait for days before they are assigned a port in Europe. In Libya, from where many refugees set sail, they face torture and other human rights violations. It is feared that the new right-wing government in Italy will take a tougher stance on sea rescue organizations.