MARSEILLE: More than 350 migrants have been rescued off the coast of Libya in just two days by the Bahrain Atlantic Viking humanitarian ship, a French non-governmental boat organization.
“On Friday evening, 106 people were rescued in 28 nautical miles (50 kilometers) of international waters off the coast of Libya,” the SOS Mediterranean said. The majority of people aboard a flawless rubber were found to be intoxicated by the oil smoke, “he said. They came from Guyana, Sudan and Sierra Leone.
On Friday morning, the Ocean Viking picked up 149 people from two boats after the SOS signal, including 58 minors and four children, one month old, he said. A total of 374 people have been rescued by Ocean Viking since Thursday, including 165 children, SOS Mediterranean said. There are a total of 131 minors. Libya has become a key route to unorganized access to Europe during the years of chaos since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s government in the 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
While many have drowned, thousands have been stopped by Libya’s coast guard, backed by Italy and the European Union, and returned to Libya. They are often in detention, often in horrific conditions.
The Ocean Viking reached the seas on January 11 after being held in Italy for five months before being released in December. Authorities cited alleged security concerns for the event. According to Sophie Beau, head of SOS Mediterranean, the Ocean Viking is currently the only rescue ship operated by an NGO in the region, which said: Blocked. “
Most migrants are trying to enter Europe via Italy, crossing a dangerous Mediterranean route from Libya and Tunisia. More than 1,200 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean last year.