The aid organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Méditerranée rescued 110 migrants in distress off the coast of Libya. The people were on overcrowded inflatable boats in international waters of the central Mediterranean, said both organizations on Saturday via Twitter.
The SOS Méditerranée crew took 37 migrants aboard the Ocean Viking and reported some with fuel burns. On Saturday afternoon, the MSF team rescued and treated 73 people on the Geo Barents.
Shortly after the deployment, Italy assigned the "Ocean Viking" to Ancona on the Adriatic Sea as a port so that people could go ashore there. SOS Méditerranée estimated that the journey there would take around four days. Port assignment after the first rescue is the new policy of Italy's right-wing government. In her opinion, the rescued people will be helped more quickly. However, rapid allocation usually also means that the organizations do not save other migrants in distress at sea as they did before. Because before the political change of course, the ships often waited for days for a port and thus stayed longer at sea.
The 37 people on the "Ocean Viking" left the North African coast to reach the EU. The crossing is life-threatening and the boats used are often unseaworthy. According to media reports, a migrant boat with almost three dozen people on board sank between the Tunisian coast and the Italian island of Lampedusa on Friday. Three died, including a toddler. Fishermen first brought people on board. Italy's coast guard then took them over and brought them to Lampedusa, as reported by the Ansa news agency.