Migrants: Ocean Viking ship sets off towards Mediterranean

Released from seizure by Italian authorities, NGO Mediterranée

11 January, 12:36

    ROME - After six months, the vessel Ocean Viking of the European search and rescue organization Sos Mediterranée is leaving the French port city of Marseille to travel towards the central Mediterranean. ''This first mission of the year - the NGO said in a statement - comes after months of costly efforts to free the ship from an administrative seizure imposed on July 22 by Italian authorities, based on new interpretations of the requirements of navigation for rescue vessels''.

    The year 2020, continued the organization, was ''devastating in the central Mediterranean: the void in rescue operations became increasingly clear with 779 reported deaths and a high likelihood that many other deaths have not been documented. Sos Mediterranée is relieved that it can resume rescue operations while highlighting the absolute need for European States to reintroduce a system of coordination of rescue operations that is effective and leads States''.

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