Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rescued a total of 85 migrants from two capsized or struggling boats off Libya on Sunday night and Monday morning. The rescues were at the request of the Italian National Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre under the new NGO code of conduct.
The MSF team on board the Geo Barents rescue ship sprang into action after receiving a request from the Italian national maritime rescue coordination centre.
They are the first rescues since the introduction of a new NGO code of conduct for those operating rescue missions in Italian waters. The decree envisages fines and seizures, a ban on transshipping, authorisations for a single rescue op only, and the obligation for asylum seekers to file claims to the country whose flag the ship is sailing under.
MSF said the first migrant boat tipped over in heavy seas and the 41 survivors, including two women, are now on board the Geo Barents and receiving assistance from the MSF team.
The rescue ship went on to rescue another group of migrants and in all it is now taking 85 of them to the southern Italian port of Taranto.