Ocean Viking is in copy of an email from Moonbird to ITMRCC and MTJRCC informing of two distress cases
Ocean Viking emails Moonbird with MTJRCC and ITMRCC in copy to ask for further information on the distress cases
Moonbird sends Ocean Viking an email with coordinates of both distress cases
Ocean Viking calls MTJRCC to ask for updated information on the distress cases. No new information is available. Ocean Viking informs that she will proceed to the last known positions of the distress cases
The Ocean Viking informs MTJRCC and ITMRCC via email that the overcrowded wooden boat carrying approx. 80 people is slightly listing on one side and that the RHIBs will proceed to life jacket distribution and evacuation to the Ocean Viking.
Rescue completed: all 51 survivors are on the Ocean Viking
The Ocean Viking is in copy of an email sent from Moonbird to LYJRCC and MTJRCC, informing of a wooden boat in distress sighted at 13.04 in position 34°16N 012°05E with approximately 80 people on board.
Ocean Viking informs authorities of altered course and speed
“Ocean Viking currently has 180 survivors on board, most of whom have been on board since the 25/06, for five days. Many survivors are suffering from sunburn, exhaustion and generalised body pain and the effects of exposure. Many others have been victims/witnesses of violence in Libya. There is 1 pregnant woman on board and 25 minors. 68% of them are unaccompanied.
The situation on board is tense with survivors worried about being able to contact their families to be able to inform them that they are alive.
While the situation is being managed on board, some people had started to threaten to jump into the water as they cannot take being stuck on the vessel and are suffering psychologically as well as physically.
We would kindly request a Place of Safety be granted to the survivors as soon as possible so that these issues can be dealt with on land and not on the vessel that saved them at sea as per international norms.
The medical team (1 MD, 2 nurses, 1 midwife) continue to provide medical care 24hrs a day including 2 daily screenings for temperature and SP02 monitoring, all screenings results have been normal (no temperature, PulseOx normal).
The rest of the team is doing constant watches on deck for safety and security as well as food distributions. All of this is complicated by the strict COVID-19 protocols that are in place on board.
We hope that a quick solution can be found and any assistance in this matter is much appreciated.”
Ocean Viking is in copy of an email from ITMRCC to the Norwegian Flag State and the French government, requesting that the Flag State and French authorities assign a Place of Safety to the Ocean Viking.
From: ITMRCC To: French Embassy in Italy, CROSS, Norwegian Flag State CC: Gabinetto Esteri, Gabinetto MinInterno, Segreteria Capo di Gabinetto, Guardia Costiera, NCC, Ocean Viking
In this email, ITMRCC states that there had been “absolutely no communication with the Italian Rescue Coordination Center, neither before nor after the operation” for the four rescues the Ocean Viking performed on June 25 and June 30. Further, since the ship flies the Norwegian flag and is allegedly owned by a French citizen, and in light of the decree of April 7, 2020, declaring Italian ports unsafe due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy, the Italian authorities request that the French and Norwegian authorities provide a Place of Safety for the disembarkation of the 180 survivors, suggesting Corsica.
Ocean Viking sends an email to ITMRCC with the French and Norwegian authorities in copy to provide further information on the four rescue operations
From: Ocean Viking To: ITMRCC CC: Gabinetto Esteri, Gabinetto MinInterno, Segreteria Capo di Gabinetto, Guardia Costiera, NCC, French Embassy in Italy, CROSS, Norwegian Flag State
For complete information on the four SAR cases in which the Ocean Viking was involved, I kindly refer you and the other recipients of your message to the four Maritime Incident Reports sent earlier, which I attach again here and I would underline the following:
1. The initial SAR case in which the Ocean Viking was involved took place in the overlapping Italian & Maltese SRR after being spotted in the Maltese SRR. When the boat in distress entered into IT SRR, ITMRCC was addressed directly. Multiple calls were made to ITMRCC during the last 5 days and all calls have been logged. 2. Both RCC Malta and ITMRCC were contacted/informed at every stage of the three other operations as per our strict procedures. Again all emails are available and all calls logged. 3. Our flag state has been kept informed with each Maritime Incident Report.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated in finding any suitable Port of Safety where survivors can be promptly disembarked as per SAR conventions, including, if you consider it appropriate, with the support from other authorities and further RCCs.
The 180 survivors we have onboard now have been going through an extensive time at sea, they are exhausted and urgently need to be taken care of by appropriate authorities. The current situation leads to growing tensions onboard which are becoming challenging to manage. We are also monitoring weather conditions over the next couple of days and we can see the situation deteriorating over the Western Med and the Central Med in the coming days.
Ocean Viking emails ITMRCC informing that the vessel will seek shelter from worsening weather conditions to the east of Sicily and warning of increased risk in case of further MOB
From: Ocean Viking To: ITMRCC CC: Flag State “Due to the worsening weather conditions we will need to seek shelter. The only place that offers shelter is currently to the east of Sicily. The other issue is that if other people jump overboard and the weather is too bad we will not be able to safely launch our rescue boat without risking our crew . Please be advised that we may seek shelter remaining outside of the 12nm shortly.”
Ocean Viking informs ITMRCC and MTJRCC of suicide attempts and medical emergency, announcing possible request for medical evacuation
“We are currently going to best speed to head for shelter. We currently have multiple survivors who are on suicide watch. 5 have tried to jump into the water and another one tried to hang themselves 20mins ago. We have also just had one person collapse on deck and the medical team is again taking care of them. There will be a medical report following when the doctor is free to write along with a possible demand for multiple medevacs. The situation is very unstable and peoples safety cannot be guaranteed while they remain in limbo onboard.”
ITMRCC emails French and Norwegian authorities asking for acknowledgement of the email from Ocean Viking
To: Ocean Viking, Flag State, Norwegian Embassy in Italy, French Embassy in Italy, CROSS
CC: Gabinetto Esteri, Gabinetto MinIntero, Segreteria Capo di Gabinetto, Guardia Costiera
“Dear Sirs, Due to the increasing critical situation on board, please find attached email received by mv ocean viking concerning an urgent request for assistance. Please acknowledge theis message, keeping informed this MRCC on the action taken”
Ocean Viking sends request to ITMRCC and MTJRCC for urgent medical evacuation of 44 survivors in acute mental distress
“We bring to your attention an urgent situation on Ocean Viking that requires an immediate large medical evacuation.
We have a group of 44 males who are in acute mental distress and depression. Some of them express suicidal ideas and some have acted upon this. They endanger themselves and the rest of the crew and survivors and need to be evacuated as soon as possible.
Several already attempt suicide since 2 days and are now under medical watch. This morning there was also one medical emergency when one individual became unconscious. He is now being monitored closely in the ship hospital.
The medical team (1 MD, 2 nurses and 1 midwife) does not have the capacity to ensure the individual safety of the 44 survivors.
The weather conditions are worsening and if other people jump overboard we will not be able to safely launch our rescue boat without risking our crew and the lives of rescued people.
Please note the attached general medical report.
For the evacuation, the medical team recommends that there is manpower available to handle potentially agitated people.
Due to the necessity of urgent medical evacuation the Ocean Viking is heading North East toward Pozzallo and we will be standing by for instructions.”
ITMRCC emails Ocean Viking suggesting nearest port for the medical evacuation of survivors is Malta
“Following our previous e-mail, this MRCC informs RCC MALTA that at 1120UTC, M/V Ocean Viking called via satphone this MRCC reporting that the ship is sailing towards Pozzallo and not Malta (the nearest port) to evacuate 46 people for urgent MEDEVACs because RCC MALTA doesn’t respond to their calls. For any appropriate action, find attached the email from pv regarding urgent medevac request for 44 ppl due to psychological problems. Please note that at the moment of the first urgent medevac request, the ship was 25nm far from malta and 60nm from pozzallo”
Ocean Viking informs ITMRCC of failed attempts to contact MTRCC
As the situation on deck becomes uncontrollable and the safety of the survivors, crew and personnel can no longer be guaranteed, the Master of the Ocean Viking declares a State of Emergency over the vessel to request immediate support.
Ocean Viking informs ITMRCC via email of declaration of State of Emergency
“Following our phone conversation, I confirm that Ocean Viking is in no other position than to declare a state of emergency onboard.
Ocean Viking has had 180 survivors onboard for several days, including 46 highly psychological unstable individuals who are a risk at any moment to harm themselves, the crew or the vessel. The urgent request to evacuate those people has not led to a positive response yet and we are in no position to control the situation any further.
We are in a state of necessity to reach a port as early as possible. I request all your assistance on this matter.
As per the last call my answers are as follows:
Nature: Serious psychological issues within some survivors Continued actions to self harm themselves and aggressions between themselves and more and more threats and aggression towards the crew 6 suicide attempts 2 MOB 3 Stopped from jumping by crew 1 attempt to hang themselves Situation has been an emergency since we have had no response from any RCC Situation has been ongoing for hours We have been alerting about the situation since yesterday as it continued to worsen and before it became an emergency We proceeded North after there was no response from Malta for several days. They are no longer answering the telephone or they hang up on us and have not responded to any of our emails. We there for contact the next RCC able to assist.”
Ocean Viking Master emails Flag State seeking advise
The Master of the Ocean Viking emails the Flag State authorities to inform of the critical situation on board. As advised by ITMRCC, the Master seeks advise from the Flag State since the request for an urgent medical evacuation has so far gone unanswered.
Ocean Viking informs of readiness to transfer Italian medical team onboard and of absence of Covid-19 symptoms
From: Ocean Viking To: ITMRCC and Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: Norwegian Flag State
“After our conversation I am confirming that we will be in the position requested, to the East of the Vega platform and remaining in Intl waters 11h50 B. I have spoken to the medical team onboard who have been screening the survivors twice daily as well our crew for symptoms of COVID 19, and I can state that there have been NO symptoms onboard. There was one suspected case that was medevaced to Lampedusa and he has since tested negative for COVID 19. We will have our rhib in the water to do transfer of your personnel, 2 pax, to Ocean Viking at 1nm from Ocean Viking. We are standing by on VHF 16 for contact with CP 325. We request that CP 325 remains 1nm from Ocean Viking unless there is an emergency. It would be best that they remain astern of Ocean Viking to be able to keep visual in case anyone jumps. Our RHIB, callsign Easy 1 will remain on standby under the instructions of Ocean Viking in case of emergencies.”
Ocean Viking explains that the transfer was postponed due to serious safety concerns and in agreement with Italian MRCC and Pozzallo Harbourg master
From: Ocean Viking To: ITMRCC, Norwegian Embassy in Italy, French Embassy in Italy, CROSS Cc: Gabinetto Esteri, Segretaria Capo di Gabinetto, Guardiacostiera
“Please be advised that the only reason that the transfer was postponed at 02h30LT was due to serious safety concerns and in full agreement with ITMRCC and Pozzallo Harbour master. This is fully in keeping with the ongoing emergency and is not contradictory to the ongoing situation. “
Pozzallo Harbour Master provides a rendez-vous position to Ocean Viking
On behalf of Pozzallo Harbour Master, the port agent informs the Ocean Viking that it should head to position 36°30’N, Long. 014°39’E and wait for radio contact from the MV CP325. The ship is requested to keep 15 miles off Italian national waters and is not authorized to enter Italian territorial waters.
Pozzallo Harbour Master is informed that the medical team disembarked
From: Ocean Viking To: Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: ITMRCC, Catania Sezione Operativa, Prefettura Ragusa, Norwegian Flag
“Your medical team has been disembarked from Ocean Viking to CP325. The situation remains the same onboard as per our email updates from yesterday and this morning with the state of emergency still in place. We thank you for your assistance and we hope a solution can be found for the survivors quickly. Please thank the medical team, the crew of CP 325 and Pozzallo Harbour Masters office from the crew of Ocean Viking. “
Italian MRCC argues it did not agree on the decision to postpone the transfer
From: Ocean Viking To: Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: ITMRCC, Catania Sezione Operativa, Prefettura Ragusa, Norwegian Flag State
“After our conversation we would like to inform that weather conditions are getting worse in our current location. Currently F6. Any transfer between vessels would be risky for your personnel right now. We are able to find shelter to the East of Sicily if requested and can move quickly as there is still the urgency. We would also request that the crew be tested at he same time. While there are strict protocols in place the crew has been taking care of the survivors on deck and in the clinic constantly so there is added stress of the fear of possibly having something on the ship. We are standing by.”
The Norwegian JRCC kindly asks the Italian MRCC to support the MEDEVAC request
“1. JRCC has spoken to OCEAN VIKING concerning their situation. JRCC ask Master directly following : a. Has OV at any time issued MAYDAY or activated the SSAS – Masters answer – Negative/No b. Has OV at any time ask formally MRCC for MEDEVAC – Masters answer – Positive/Yes c. Has OV asked for full MEDEVAC of all passenger or only those limited to psychological problem – Masters answer – Only limited number. 2. JRCC urge kindly MRCC to assist in MEDEVAC of limited number according to masters need. 3. JRCC considered only the aspect related to MEDEVAC iaw SOLAS/SAR Convention and understand the needs from OV to be of pure medical issue. 4. As a result of no MEDEVAC this JRCC understands the possible consequence could be a safety aspect – which could escalate to be an issue related to Law of Seas. This JRCC do not relates to this aspect as it falls outside the scope of JRCC responsibility. 5. OV position is in MRCC area of responsibility – As MRCC is already an appropriate RCC, this JRCC cannot assume any responsibility related to OV iaw IAMSAR Vol II 3.6.2 and 3.6.3. This JRCC can only kindly advice/ask MRCC to support request for MEDEVAC from OV according to Master needs. Kind Regards”
The Ocean Viking updates the Pozzallo Harbour master about emergency on board and need to disembark
From: Ocean Viking To: Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: ITMRCC, Catania Sezione Operativa, Ragusa Prefecture, Norwegian Flag State
“The situation on board the Ocean Viking remains the same as it was since we declared the emergency on board. There is still a large number of people suffering from psychological distress and who need to disembark as soon as possible. We continue to thank you for your assistance and we will continue to up date with this email or any new developments as they happen.”
The Ocean Viking sends a second update to the Pozzallo Harbour master about emergency on board and need to disembark
From: Ocean Viking To: Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: ITMRCC, Catania Sezione Operativa, Ragusa Prefecture, Norwegian Flag State
Monitoring. 0450B Update 2 The situation on board the Ocean Viking remains the same as it was since we declared the emergency on board. The survivors are currently sleeping or are being cared for by the medical team. There is still a large number of people suffering from psychological distress and who need to disembark as soon as possible. We continue to thank you for your assistance and we will continue to up date with this email or any new developments as they happen. GPS Postion Lat. 36°-17.15 N Long. 015° -02.50 E
Ocean Viking updates Pozzallo Harbour Master of situation onboard and requests medicine
From: Ocean Viking To: Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: ITMRCC, Catania Sezione Operativa, Ragusa Prefecture, Norwegian Flag
“The survivors are being informed that your medical team is arriving today. Our doctor is requesting that your medical team bring oral diazepam to the ship as we no longer have enough on board. We would need 500 dosages of 5mg.
We are standing by to receive your team like yesterday.”
Ocean Viking informs Italian MRCC and Pozzallo Harbour Master of Estimated Time of Arrival in Porto Empedocle
From: Ocean Viking To: ITMRCC, Pozzallo Harbour Master Cc: Norwegian Flag
“After both calls from ITMRCC and Pozzallo HM, Ocean Viking is proceeding to Porto Empedocle where we will contact ITCG/HM on VHF for instructions for disembarkation of survivors. Our ETA is 08h00B We are advising the survivors now so as to maintain calm and the medical team will continue to treat the cases that need to be cared for. A medical handover will be done upon arrival. “