Drama in the ocean

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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3 Comments on “Drama in the ocean

  1. Jackie, I think if this was off St. Lucia we were on that ship, Viking Sea, and I think they were fishermen. Everybody was happy to wait until the coastguard picked them up. I do seem to remember some people saying they had some kind of motorbike on their boat?

  2. A week after 9/11 we were sailing in the Med on Splendour of the Seas. It was Gala night, we went to the Captains cocktail party, had a little drink and then the ship stopped. The captain announced that we had come across a boatload of refugees and that we would have to stay with them until help arrived. The 60 footer had about 300+ people aboard, the engines had died and the crew had buggered off. We sent over milk and food but it was rejected. I did feel so sorry for those people on board, they would risk the lives of their children to feel safe, but why not accept help. I felt really guilty for being able to afford the simple things of life, the cockpit of the boat was alive with disco music and flashing lights but it still did not stop me having compassion for those poor scared people on board that little boat. When we judge people so harshly we surely have lost our humanity.

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Welcome to Planet Gordon!  Having spent all my working life working in retail, including  8 years working for Thomson, I decided that I needed a new challenge. So in March 2017 I "set sail" on a new adventure with CRUISE.CO.UK. Cruising is becoming my travel passion, as land-based holidays just…

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