Stop indifference: Red Cross search and rescue boat saves hundreds of people in first 24 hours

Publicado: 10 agosto 2016

Rome/Geneva, 10 August 2016: The Red Cross’s new search and rescue boat has saved more than 300 people from the Mediterranean in just 24 hours since its launch.

The Responder, which left Malta at 7 a.m. yesterday, rescued 327 people from four separate boats in distress in the Central Mediterranean in the early hours of 10 August.

Dozens of women and children were among those pulled from makeshift rafts and dangerously overcrowded dinghies – including 11 children travelling alone.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretary General Elhadj As Sy said:  

“On its first day of its first mission, the Responder has helped save the lives of more than 300 women, men and children. 

“The urgent need for this search and rescue operation is clear – lives are being saved.”

“More than 3,000 people have already drowned this year trying to cross the Mediterranean. World leaders must come together to commit to stopping this needless, ongoing tragedy.”

The Italian Red Cross, with support from the IFRC, is partnering with independent charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in a joint life-saving mission on board the Responder.

The Responder will patrol the Central Mediterranean route between northern Africa and Italy where the majority of the 3,100 drownings this year have occurred.

Italy is currently the primary entry point for migrants heading to Europe, with more than 94,000 arrivals in 2016. 

The Responder is expected to rescue more than 1,000 people every month. Italian Red Cross volunteers and staff on board will provide post-rescue support including first aid, medical care, food, dry clothes, blankets and toiletries. The recently increased IFRC emergency appeal for Italy – which is seeking 9.5 million Swiss francs – will fund the running costs of the boat. The first team on the Responder includes two nurses and a doctor from the Italian Red Cross.


Note to editors:

Spokespeople in Italy and on board the Responder are available please contact:

Follow IFRC (@Federation) on twitter for live updates.

In Italy:

Laura Bastianetto, spokesperson, Italian Red Cross
Email: | Tel: +39 3207 979 485 | Twitter: @LBastianetto

In Budapest:

Caroline Haga, emergency communications delegate, IFRC Europe
Email: | Tel: +36 704 306 500 | Twitter: @hagacaroline

Nichola Jones, emergency communications delegate, IFRC Europe
Email: |  Tel: +36 70 430 6506  | Twitter: @nicjones81

In Geneva:

Reeni Amin Chua, communications senior officer, IFRC 
Email: | Mobile: +41 79 708 6273 | Twitter: @reeniac