Life Support, EMERGENCY’s search and rescue ship, has launched its first mission into the Central Mediterranean Sea, one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes.
So far in 2022, more than 1,300 people have died or disappeared attempting the crossing, with more than 90 per cent of deaths due to drownings. Despite the dangers, Italy and the European Union are not doing enough to guarantee safe, legal passage. Additionally, since the beginning of the year, more than 21,000 people have been intercepted and returned to Libya, where numerous human rights violations of migrants have been documented, including forced labour, torture and sexual violence.
“EMERGENCY is going to sea to save lives and protect human rights. We believe that Italy and the European Union should run coordinated search and rescue activities, as well as guarantee safe, legal channels for people fleeing war, violence and poverty. But these do not exist. In their absence, we are joining the civil movement to protect human lives in the Mediterranean.”Rossella Miccio, president of EMERGENCY
Our ship can accommodate up to 175 rescued people, in addition to its crew. The Life Support team consists of a total of 28 staff, including two nurses, a doctor, and two cultural mediators, with a range of experience from EMERGENCY projects in countries such as Italy, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan.
"Life Support intervenes in a place considered to be the most dangerous frontier for migrants, both in terms of the number of deaths and of missing people. It is our way of continuing to do our part, reinforcing that sea rescue is not only a legal obligation, but a moral duty."Pietro Parrino, Director of EMERGENCY's Field Operations Department