Ocean Viking - Second Rotation, First Rescue
Mediterranean migration

Ongoing human tragedy in Mediterranean following 130 people feared dead

Médecins Sans Frontières is outraged at yet another humanitarian tragedy that occurred earlier today in the central Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. A shipwreck was witnessed by NGO SOS MEDITERRANEE’s Ocean Viking more than 48 hours after the initial alert was given. Several lifeless bodies were floating at the scene with presumably 130 dead people.   

“This unacceptable death toll is further proof of the deadly consequences of EU Member States’ policies of non-assistance at sea,” says Ellen van der Velden, MSF’s Operations Manager for Search and Rescue and Libya. “For years now, they have entrusted search and rescue responsibilities to the Libyan Rescue Coordination Centre, which has once again failed to fulfil its coordination mandate in its vast zone of responsibility.”

“For how much longer will we need to denounce the complicit inaction of European and Libyan maritime authorities, in order to avoid this carnage?” asks van der Velden.

“People desperately fleeing violence and abuse in Libya continue to embark on perilous sea journeys, only to be intercepted and brought back by EU-supported Libyan Coast Guard or left to die in the middle of the sea,” van der Velden continues. “Our thoughts are with the families of those perished at sea and with the team on board the Ocean Viking.” 

Up Next
Opinion 17 September 2021