Francesca Mapelli/MSF
On early morning June 1st 2015, the MSF Bourbon Argos search and rescue vessel rescued 325 people, among which eight women, from three different boats, most of these people coming from sub-Saharan Africa and crossing the Mediterranean sea to flee violence and seek a safe haven in Europe.
“The immense relief felt by the people who were rescued was tangible. The emotion was intense, with some people kneeling on the deck praying, and overwhelmed and unable to move. For most of them, this moment ends an ordeal which has lasted months, even years. A bureaucratic ordeal ahead may also last as long - but at least on the Argos deck they can rest, aware that they have escaped the life threatening crossing from the shores of Libya” says Francois Zamparini, MSF’s emergency coordinator onboard the Argos.
MSF has provided medical screenings and distributed water and blankets to the people onboard the Bourbon Argos. Their general conditions were good.