Last night, in complete darkness and rough weather, the OceanViking team evacuated 29 people from an unseaworthy boat drifting in the Maltese search and rescue region.
OceanViking reported, the people had been in distress in the Mediterranean for 5 days. 20 hours passed from the first distress call, shared by Alarm Phone, until the OceanViking found the distress at sea. Despite knowing about the situation, authorities left people to the elements and increasingly bad weather conditions and did not launch a rescue.
During the rescue, a Maltese helicopter circled over the marine casualty. An Italian patrol boat was also on the scene, but no one assisted in finding the boat in distress or took over the coordination of the rescue operation.
Shortly after the rescue, the Italian authorities assigned OceanViking Bari, 770 km away, for the landing of the 29 survivors, two days’ journey away. The company fears that more lives are at risk in the central Mediterranean.