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In August 2019, MSF and partner SOS MEDITERRANEE resumed search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean.
We first launched these activities in 2015 in response to European governments' failure to protect vulnerable people fleeing from north Africa to southern Europe - the world's deadliest migration route. Since then, we have assisted over 80,000 people.
Our return to sea in 2019 came after a sustained two-year campaign by EU governments to stop virtually all humanitarian action in the Central Mediterranean, and the normalisation of vindictive policies that have caused deaths at sea and suffering in conflict-ridden Libya.
Human Cargo is an observational documentary co-produced by Evan Williams Productions / MSF UK for Australian current affairs program SBS Dateline. It follows the first rotation of our new search and rescue ship, Ocean Viking, in August 2019.
The crew and survivors on board faced a two-week stand off, waiting for a place of safety to be assigned.
UPDATE 403 survivors rescued by #OceanViking over the weekend are now disembarking in #Taranto, Italy.— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) January 29, 2020
With vulnerable people escaping insecurity in #Libya there is an urgent need for state-led #SAR capacity & solidarity to #EU coastal states to, first & foremost, save lives. pic.twitter.com/bcmYfRouML
The need for search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean remains as high as ever, with a record number of people rescued by the Ocean Viking between 24-26 January 2020.
Of the 407 survivors, almost 40 percent were children under 18 and 132 were unaccompanied.