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Red Cross rescues hundreds from the Mediterranean Sea

On Monday, Red Cross rescued 350 people from unsafe boats crossing the Mediterranean to seek safety in Europe. Favourable weather this week has seen an increase in the number of people risking the treacherous journey in search of refuge due to the calmer seas. Tragically, seven lives were lost.

The Red Cross Responder, a search and rescue mission boatRecently, the Red Cross launched its first search and rescue ship in a bid to save the lives of people crossing the Mediterranean seeking refuge in Europe. Red Cross medics aboard the vessel provided rapid care to survivors in urgent need of medical attention, and over the course of the day yesterday gave check-ups to all other passengers. During the day, the Responder took on board passengers from four other vessels – either rescues or transfers from other vessels in the area. By evening, the Responder had more than 350 passengers, from Africa and South Asia.

On Sunday, the Responder rescued another 119 people rescued from a rubber boat and transferred them to the Italian Coastguard, which is coordinating the search effort.

Rescuing those making the treacherous journey across seas in search of refugeThe Responder works with a smaller sister ship, the Phoenix, to patrol and conduct rescue missions along the route between North Africa and Italy where the majority of the estimated 3,100 drownings this year have occurred.

The life-saving missions of the Phoenix and Responder are a partnership between the Italian Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), an independent charity.

On the Responder, IFRC aid workers from Italy, Switzerland and New Zealand provide post-rescue support including first aid, medical care, food, water, dry clothes and blankets. On the Phoenix, post-rescue care is carried out by Italian Red Cross volunteers and staff. 

Rosemarie North, emergency delegate for the IFRC, is on the Responder, a vessel operated by MOAS on which the Red Cross is providing post rescue support to migrants:
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