Sea-Watch Rescues 147 Migrants Off Libyan Coast

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The German non-governmental organization, Sea-Watch, rescued 147 migrants off the coast of Libya during two rescue operations carried out by its ship, Sea-Watch 3.

In tweets, the organization stated that it had rescued 102 migrants on a rubber boat that sent a distress call on Saturday. It had rescued 45 migrants, including 15 minors, who were trying to reach Europe by sea via Libya.

It is noteworthy that the Sea Watch 3 ship has participated in the rescue of more than three thousand migrants since entering service in November 2017. While the French organization, SOS Mediterranean, in early February 2021 has rescued more than 400 people on board its Ocean Viking.

The Sea-Watch 3 ship left Burriana Port to the Mediterranean again after seven months, and the ship started its search and rescue efforts last Wednesday.

In July 2020, the Italian Coast Guard stopped the Sea Watch 3 vessel, due to “technical and operational defects that may affect the safety of its crew and passengers.” It was not the first time the ship was subjected to seizure, as the Italian authorities had previously issued a decision to seize it in 2019 for a period of five months.

Sea-Watch 3 is returning to the sea this time after obtaining a maritime safety certificate from the Spanish authorities.

Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of people who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe after the insecurity and chaos that the 2011’s civil war. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that about 12,000 migrants were intercepted at the Mediterranean Sea and returned to Libya in 2020.