6th June 2016
A joint operation by EMERGENCY NGO, humanitarian organisation which provides medical care, and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is leaving Malta today aboard the Topaz Responder, a search and rescue vessel which will patrol the world’s deadliest migrant crossing: the central Mediterranean.
More than 2.000 people have already died in 2016 attempting the crossing: in May, 1.138 people died or went missing in a single week attempting to reach Europe. With today’s launch, more desperate people seeking refuge in Europe will be rescued and given expert medical care.
EMERGENCY NGO will be operating from the MOAS vessel Topaz Responder to guarantee the post rescue assistance, in particular medical care and cultural mediation for the rescued migrants.
The team is composed by 6 people including doctors, nurses, cultural mediators and a coordinator.
MOAS’ Responder is 52 metres long, equipped with two high-speed rescue boats, a 20-strong professional crew of seafarers, rescuers, doctors and nurses as well as a fully-stocked clinic to provide emergency search, rescue and medical care.
“No one deserves to die at sea and yet last month was one of the deadliest on record with as many as 1,000 having perished in the Mediterranean. Hundreds more will continue to die unless we bolster the professional search and rescue effort,” said MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone. “Our partners on board ensure that excellent post rescue care is provided to migrants who have already endured severe trauma”.
So far, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station has saved the life of over 13,000 people.
“For more than 20 years, EMERGENCY has been working in war and poverty torn countries. Thus, we know very well what these people are fleeing from when they take a boat in the attempt to reach Europe”, said EMERGENCY President, Cecilia Strada. “For two years, we’ve been working at the Sicilian ports offering medical assistance to those who land. And today we are happy to bring our experience and expertise at sea, together with MOAS”.
So far, EMERGENCY NGO has assisted over 20.000 migrants landed in Sicily, with its team working in the ports of Pozzallo, Augusta and Porto Empedocle.
EMERGENCY NGO is an independent organization that provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines and poverty and promotes a culture of peace and respect for human rights.
Since its inception, over 7 million people have received free, high quality health care by EMERGENCY NGO.
MOAS is a registered foundation consisting of professional search and rescue crew, onshore staff and supported by a global network of supporters. It works to mitigate the loss of life at sea along the world’s deadliest migrant routes because no one deserves to die at sea. Since its inception MOAS has assisted over 13,000 migrants and refugees in distress.
For interviews requests to the EMERGENCY team please contact:
Simonetta Gola, +39 348 3034282, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Valeria Brigida, +39 348 9582943, email@example.com;
For interviews requests please to the MOAS team please contact:
Anne Kennedy, +35679900097; firstname.lastname@example.org.