In an operation conducted yesterday, October 13, the German Navy’s frigate Schleswig-Holstein rescued 207 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
The action started when the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (I.M.R.C.C.) requested EUNAVFOR MED Task Force operating in the Central Mediterranean to intervene in possible boats in distress in International waters.
Schleswig-Holstein received instructions to approach a wooden boat in distress north of Zuwarah, Libya. They found that the vessel was sailing in poor conditions with 207 migrants aboard. The frigate proceeded to rescue the people in distress.
The EU naval operation against human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean called “EUNAVFOR MED/Operation Sophia”, was launched on the 22 of June, 2015, with the main focus on contributing to disrupt the business model of the smugglers and therefore prevent more loss of lives. The mission on July 7th entered its second phase.
Nevertheless, the obligation to assist persons in distress at sea and to deliver survivors to a place of safety is clearly stated in international conventions such as SOLAS. EUNAVFOR MED in less than four months of operations has already been involved in several rescue activities contributing to save the life of more than 3400 migrants.
Image: EUNAVFOR MED