NGO ships rescue over 400 people from Mediterranean

Three NGOs said Sunday that they rescued more than 400 people trying to cross the Mediterranean overnight after their boat ran into trouble.

The NGOs — SOS Mediterranee, Sea-Watch and ResQship — said that their rescue ships, the Ocean Viking, Sea-Watch 3 and Nadir, had picked up the migrants after their “large wooden boat” had begun to take on water. 

“All night until the early morning, together with @seawatch_intl & @resqship_int, we were engaged in the critical rescue of ~400 people,” SOS Mediterranee tweeted.

“Survivors are now receiving care on #OceanViking & #SeaWatch3.”

It was the fifth rescue operation by Ocean Viking since Saturday and the ship now has “449 survivors onboard in total”, the NGO said. 

According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration, at least 1,146 people died in the first six months of this year as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. 

SOS Mediterranee said it has rescued more than 30,000 people since February 2016.