22 Sep 16 02 Nov 16

Saving 1,658 lives: MSF's busiest day ever in the Med

Nurse Carol Nagy rushes an eight-month-old Nigerian baby to the clinic on the Phoenix, one of three MSF operated search and rescue vessels in the Mediterranean, in September 2015.

The baby was one of 604 people rescued from just one boat that day. MSF’s busiest day saving lives in the Med, came on 3 September 2015 when 1,658 people were rescued. 

One of those rescued was a young Ethiopian woman who went into labour soon after being transferred onto the boat. She was eight months pregnant. No one should have to take to the seas in rickety vessels while in this condition.

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In need of medical help, MSF called for an evacuation and she was transferred to a speed boat operated by the Italian Coast Guard and taken to a hospital.

Like any father to be, excited and nervous about the birth of his first child, her husband Joseph did not leave her side.

In addition to helping pregnant women, treating wounds and respiratory problems, MSF teams also provided mental health support - and we continue to do so, across Europe, as the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War shows no sign of abating.