Ocean Viking requests place of safety to ITMRCC and RCC Malta

“Dear Sir,

As communicated earlier, Ocean Viking conducted a rescue of 85 people in distress on the morning of the 9th August 2019.  Further rescues have been completed, on 10th and 11th August, with 85 and 81 people in distress rescued respectively. The total number of rescued people now onboard the Ocean Viking is 251, including 74 minors and 4 women. All rescues took place in international waters, in the SAR zone of Libya, in the strictest adherence to the UNCLOS, SOLAS and SAR conventions. On the 9th August at 12:38, JRCC Tripoli communicates Tripoli as a Place of Safety for the first SAR case and disembarkation of 85 survivors. Ocean Viking responded on the 10th August 00:11 that Libyan ports cannot be considered as a place of safety and requested an alternative POS to disembark survivors onboard. No response has been received so far. Ocean Viking reiterated a request of place of safety following the 2nd and the 3RD rescue allowing to disembark safely the 251 survivors onboard the vessel on the 9th and 10th August. No response has been received as of today 11th August 11am. In accordance with international maritime conventions and regulations, (IMO Resolution MSC.167 (78): “in a case where the RCC responsible for the area where the survivors are recovered cannot be contacted, attempt to contact another RCC, or if that is impractical, any other Government authority that may be able to assist, while recognizing that responsibility still rests with the RCC of the area in which the survivors are recovered”), we are now formally requesting Maltese and Italian maritime authorities, as the RCCs most able to assist, to take coordination and support finding a place of safety that fulfils the criteria set by Maritime and International Law to disembark safely the 251 survivors on board the vessel. I thanks you in advance for your kind collaboration and assistance. Please acknowledge receipt of this message. Thanks and Regards “