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Monday, February 6, 2023
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Mediterranean: Almost 270 migrants rescued by Ocean Viking

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Since the beginning of the year, 1,161 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean, 918 in the central Mediterranean, the most dangerous sea route for migrants in the world, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Ocean Viking, the SOS Méditerranée ship carrying out humanitarian missions, rescued 268 people last Thursday and last Friday, people who were in most cases on overloaded wooden boats in the waters between Libya and Malta, the NGO announced yesterday.

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“Many had high levels of exhaustion and dehydration” and “acute sunstroke,” the organization based in Marseille (southern France) described.

Many minors, including several unaccompanied, pregnant women and even a three-week-old baby are now being cared for by SOS Méditerranée and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent staff on board the Ocean Viking.

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On Tuesday, the ship’s crew spotted four empty boats in the area, one without an engine. But “without communication with the maritime authorities, the fate of the people on board remains unknown”.

Since the beginning of the year, 1,161 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean, 918 in the central Mediterranean, the most dangerous sea route for migrants in the world, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This agency, part of the UN system, estimated that in 2021 the number of dead and missing in the Mediterranean reached 2,048, of which 1,553 were lost in the central Mediterranean.

Every year, thousands of people fleeing their countries to escape armed conflict or poverty try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, whose shores are some 300 kilometers from Italy.

RES-EMP

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