ABOARD: Humanitarian groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders rescued 50 migrants on Sunday from a rubber dinghy off Libya’s coast and brought them aboard their charity ship, Ocean Viking.

An journalist aboard the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking witnessed the rescue of a pregnant woman, 12 minors and 37 men, all from sub-Saharan Africa. It happened about 14 nautical miles (16 statute miles) from Libya.

Libyan authorities, responsible for search and rescue in that area of the Mediterranean, didn’t answer multiple contact attempts by Ocean Viking. Authorities in Rome and Malta, when contacted, referred Ocean Viking to their Libyan counterparts. A fishing vessel, seen near the rubber boat, didn’t respond to contact.

A European Union plane from Operation Sophia overflew Ocean Viking, the dinghy and the fishing boat multiple times shortly before the people were rescued.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2019