A photo of the latest Ocean Viking rescue shared by SOS Mediterranee on Twitter on April 27, 2022 | Photo: @SOSMedIntl on Twitter
A photo of the latest Ocean Viking rescue shared by SOS Mediterranee on Twitter on April 27, 2022 | Photo: @SOSMedIntl on Twitter

The Ocean Viking ship currently has close to 300 rescued migrants and refugees on board, following two new operations off Libya. Meanwhile, the Italian coast guard rescued roughly 80 people, and the Geo Barents is still looking for a port to disembark some 100 rescuees.

The latest rescue operations carried out by the crew of the Ocean Viking took place in the Central Mediterranean on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning (April 27), 59 people were rescued from a rubber boat in "imminent danger," according to a tweet shared by SOS Mediterranee, which operates the ship.

On Tuesday night (April 26), 72 people were rescued from another rubber boat in the Libyan search and rescue region. The crew performed "a difficult rescue in pitch dark and with up to three-meter waves" and those rescued included women and children who "were found without lifejackets," tweeted SOS Mediterranee. They also said that "a man collapsed during evacuation."

This comes after several rescue operations following the mission's itital rescue of 70 people from a deflating rubber dinghy on Sunday (April 24). Now, 295 migrants and refugees are waiting aboard the ship to be assigned a port for disembarkation. Roughly 130 of them are minors, according to SOS Mediterranee.

Italian coast guard rescued 80 migrants; Ocean Viking carrying a hundred migrants

The Italian coast guard reported on Wednesday that they saved a group of roughly 80 migrants from a fishing boat off Sicily a day earlier. A pregnant woman and her partner were reportedly airlifted to Italy by helicopter because of a medical emergency, while the other rescuees were taken the port of Augusta by ship.

The Ocean Viking is not the only NGO-run ship currently operating in the Central Mediterranean, in the waters between northern Libya and southern Italy. The Geo Barents currently has some 100 people on board, following a rescue operation on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Sea-Watch 4 is also currently carrying out patrols, but had no migrant on board as off Wednesday afternoon.

The Central Mediterranean is one of the most frequented and dangerous irregular migration routes to Europe. A total of 9,600 migrants have arrived in Italy by boat in 2022 as of Tuesday (April 16), according to the Italian Interior Ministry figures shared by news agency dpa. At least 547 people have died or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean so far this year, according to UN migration agency IOM -- though the actual number could be much higher, as many boat sinkings are never recorded.

With dpa, epd

 

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