After several rescue operations, the crew of the "Geo Barents" is now looking for a port in Europe with almost 300 migrants on board. Most recently, 76 people, including 17 children and young people, were rescued from a wooden boat in distress in the Mediterranean during the night, the aid organization Doctors Without Borders said on Twitter on Monday.
When the rescuers reached the scene of the accident, water had already entered the boat. "Without our efforts, these people would have been left to drown in the sea." A total of 293 migrants are now on the "Geo Barents".
The Italian coast guard took 65 people off the small island of Lampedusa on Monday, according to the German organization Resqship. On Sunday afternoon, the volunteers said they discovered the disoriented migrant boat in the sea and accompanied it to the Italian search and rescue zone.
There is no state-organized sea rescue service in the Mediterranean. Only private initiatives keep an eye out for migrants in danger of their lives. The Mediterranean crossing is one of the most dangerous escape routes in the world. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 1,685 people have died or are missing this year. The number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.
Critics of private sea rescue are of the opinion that it would be better if criminal smugglers didn't bring so many people into distress in the first place. Some EU interior ministers suspect the sea rescuers of working with Libyan smugglers. The sea rescuers, on the other hand, state that they strictly adhered to international laws.