The "Aurora" rescue ship is "our answer to people being left to die at the gates of Europe," the humanitarian NGO pointed out.
On Monday, some 80 migrants were rescued in central Mediterranean waters by the Sea Watch's new ship, the Aurora, which is waiting for the allocation of a port of safety.
The rescue operation began on Sunday night after receiving a message from the "Alarm Phone", a system that collects calls for help from migrants, who were sinking near Malta. Initially, the Nadir sailboat handed out life preservers to the migrants until the Aurora arrived.
This boat previously belonged to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a British charity that operates off the coast of the United Kingdom. Once aboard the Aurora, the migrants were assisted by their six-person crew.
"The new rescue ship is our answer to people being left to die at the gates of Europe. Because every maritime emergency is a race against time, especially when states fail to fulfill their duty to rescue. Aurora will continue to support the civil fleet in the future," Sea Watch pointed out.
An 8-month pregnant woman had to be urgently evacuated from #OceanViking with her husband.— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) May 29, 2022
“Being at sea for over ten days, facing stress and fear, sleeping on the floor with the ship’s vibrations made her condition critical” explains Nedjma, @SOSMedIntl midwife on board. pic.twitter.com/fe5gVBMTil
In the first five months of 2022, nearly 18,000 undocumented migrants have reached Italian shores. In the same period of 2021, however, only 13,765 immigrants arrived, according to the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
"The central Mediterranean route from northern Africa to Europe is among the deadliest escape routes in the world. In April, some 90 people presumably died in the Mediterranean in one of the worst shipwrecks involving migrants in recent years," outlet InfoMigrants recalled.
"The estimated death toll in the Central Mediterranean Sea currently stands at 600 for the year. Last year, more than 1,500 people drowned there while trying to reach European shores. The real numbers are likely a lot higher."