The big humanitarian news story this week concerns a cruise ship going to the rescue of a stranded vessel carrying over 100 migrants trying to flee to the West and hopefully a better life.
The Maltese registered Marella Discovery, sailing as part of the TUI fleet, came to their rescue on Saturday evening, 74 kilometres off Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula.
There were a total of 111 rescued, including 33 children, although at the moment there is no indication where they were fleeing from. The migrants were later taken to the Greek port of Kalamata, and the Greek Coast Guard arrested two of the boat’s operators.
I do not want to get into a political debate about why they were there and who is responsible for them, the Marella Captain was acting in accordance with Maritime Law, although I am sure he could not have just turned a blind eye.
As the drama unfolded on social media, I have to say I was shocked and disgusted by some of the comments made. At the end of the day, human lives were at stake so I applaud the Captain for his actions.
Although the number of migrants attempting the perilous journey has fallen from 362,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2018, an average of six migrants die every day in the Mediterranean.
It was announced yesterday, Sunday, that the charity SOS Mediterranee would deploy a new vessel to “conduct search and rescue activities” off the coast of Libya. And the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, funded in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), is expected to arrive in the central Mediterranean at the end of the month.
I cannot believe in this day and age there are so many people living their lives in such terrible conditions. There is more than enough wealth to ensure that no one needs to live in fear of starvation or oppressive government rule.
Maybe one day we can turn the TV on and only hear happy news, not the usual heartbreaking stories.
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