The Ocean Viking rescue vessel | Photo: SOS Méditerranée
The Ocean Viking rescue vessel | Photo: SOS Méditerranée

Roughly 120 migrants were rescued by the crew of NGO ship Ocean Viking on Thursday off the coast of Libya. Four small children were reportedly among those rescued.

The humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranee said on Twitter that its ship rescued roughly 120 people from an overcrowded rubber boat 36 nautical miles (67 kilometers) from the Libyan coast. They said that four small children were among the migrants, including a one-month-old baby.

The Ocean Viking started its latest mission on January 11, when it set sail for the central Mediterranean from Marseille, France. The ship had been seized by Italian authorities citing safety issues in July and was released in December.

The sea crossing from war-torn Libya to Europe is extremely dangerous -- earlier this week, at least 43 people died in the deadliest shipwreck in the region thus far this year.

In response to the Ocean Viking rescue, the Libya branch of the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Twitter that a tragedy had been avoided and that EU states needed to establish "a safe and predictable disembarkation mechanism" and show "solidarity... with countries receiving high numbers of arrivals."


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