Ocean Viking Rescues 84, Awaits a Safe Place to Disembark

The Ocean Viking, a search and rescue ship operated by SOS MEDITERRANEE and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), rescued 84 people in two operations on September 8 and 9 in the Central Mediterranean. "For the first time in their long journey of suffering, finally their lives are no longer in danger," said Yuka Crickmar, MSF humanitarian affairs officer. "We really hope that we can disembark them in a place of safety." After asking for a place of safety where the team could disembark the 84 survivors, the Ocean Viking was directed to take them back to Libya, a country from which many of the survivors have fled violence and horrific abuses. It is contrary to international law to return survivors to an unsafe destination. The Ocean Viking is patrolling north of Tripoli, Libya, looking out for boats in distress. So far this year, more than 640 people have died attempting to cross the sea and reach Europe.