Sea-Watch 3, which left for its Christmas operation only yesterday evening, was able to rescue 93 people from a wooden boat in distress today. Last week alone, at least 160 people drowned off the coast of Libya while trying to escape.
In the early morning of Dec. 24, 2021, the crew of Sea-Watch 3 sighted a double-decker wooden boat in distress in international waters south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Ninety-three people were rescued from the overcrowded boat, including numerous unaccompanied minors. The rescued are now being cared for onboard the rescue ship and receiving medical attention. The Sea-Watch 3 continues its search in the area of operation in international waters off the Libyan coast.
Last week alone, at least 160 people drowned in the central Mediterranean while attempting to flee, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). More than 31,000 people were intercepted and pulled back while trying to escape in 2021 by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard – violating international law on behalf of Europe.
“We spend Christmas aboard the Sea-Watch 3 with 93 people who, in search of safety, were left only with the life-threatening flight across the sea. While European politics festively speaks of charity, it leaves thousands to drown in front of its door. The humanitarian catastrophe in the Mediterranean knows no holidays.” Mattea Weihe, Head of Mission aboard Sea-Watch 3.