Over 550 migrants on board Ocean Viking after Med rescues

Rome, Jul 5 (EFE).- The Ocean Viking rescue vessel has 572 migrants on board after its most recent rescue in the Mediterranean, an operation that lasted for more than five hours, according to SOS Mediterranee on Monday.

“During the night, the team of SOSMedItalia carried out a rescue operation of a large wooden boat in the Libyan search and rescue region,” the humanitarian organization that runs the boat wrote on Twitter.

“After more than 5 hours of operation, 369 people were safely evacuated from a boat that risked capsizing several times. 572 survivors are now aboard the Ocean Viking,” it added.

This is SOS Mediterranee’s fourth rescue in recent hours and the sixth since Friday, when it picked up 44 others.

On Saturday, the prosecutor’s office in Agrigento, Sicily launched an investigation into an alleged attack perpetrated by a Libyan coast guard vessel against a boat carrying migrants off Libya on Wednesday.

The Ocean Viking is the only civil rescue ship currently present in the Mediterranean. It is waiting the Spanish migrant rescue vessel Open Arms to join in in the next few hours.

More than 720 people have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea and some 15,000 others were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and brought back to the Libyan shores so far this year.


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