New migrant rescue boat saves hundreds of lives in Mediterranean: IFRC
GENEVA -The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Wednesday that 327 Mediterranean maritime migrants were saved by a new search and rescue boat in the first 24 hours since operations began on Tuesday.
“On its first day of its first mission, the Responder has helped save the lives of more than 300 women, men and children,” said IFRC’s Secretary General Elhadj As Sy in a statement.
“The urgent need for this search and rescue operation is clear, lives are being saved,” he added.
The Responder came to the aid of migrants boarded on four compromised boats crossing the central Mediterranean route linking North Africa with Italy early this morning.
Expected to save 1,000 migrants every month, the Responder is set to cruise central Mediterranean waters where the majority of migrants seeking to reach European shores are crossing.
Latest International Organisation for Migration figures reveal that 3,176 migrants and refugees have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean so far this year.
Most of these deaths (2,742) have occurred on the central Mediterranean passage. (PNA/Xinhua)