Crew on board the Ocean Viking said that they rescued 84 people on a small wooden boat about 71 miles off the coast of Libya | Photo: SOS Mediterranée
Crew on board the Ocean Viking said that they rescued 84 people on a small wooden boat about 71 miles off the coast of Libya | Photo: SOS Mediterranée

The rescue ship Ocean Viking run by SOS Mediterranee and MSF rescued 84 people on Tuesday about 71 nautical miles off the coast of Libya, the organizations reported on Twitter.

The aid organizations SOS Mediterranée and Doctors without Borders (MSF), which run the rescue ship Ocean Viking, tweeted on Tuesday, February 18 that they rescued "84 people from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat," about 71 nautical miles off the coast of Libya. 

SOS Mediterrannée and MSF added that "luckily weather conditions were calm, as none of the survivors on board the unseaworthy vessel were wearing lifejackets."

'Lifesaving operations remain vital'

The Ocean Viking set off on its latest mission from the southern French port of Marseille on February 15. As it left Marseille, it underlined the importance of missions like its own saying "lifesaving operations remain vital." 

The German press agency epd reported that since the EU cut down the parameters of its Sophia naval mission, the only ships patrolling the waters off Libya were private rescue organizations and the Libyan coast guard.

The organization Alarm Phone retweeted MSF’s news of the rescue, saying Alarm Phone had been "alerted by a boat in distress off the coast of Libya early this morning." It added that the people said they needed help "urgently." Alarm Phone said that they had "informed all the authorities" and that the crew aboard the Ocean Viking had "found and rescued the people moments ago!"


 

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