As requested, the Ocean Viking informs the ITMRCC of the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to Pozzallo.
Dear Sirs, Thank you for the information. Our ETA to Pozzallo is 0800Z 23/02 at pilot station. We will send a full medical report with referrals from the medical team on-board to the Ministry of Health. Please inform us of any additional information needed regarding precautions from MOI. Kind Regards MVH Bridge
“Dear Sir, As communicated earlier, Ocean Viking conducted 4 rescues of a total of 356 people in distress on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th August. Please refer to OV MIR reports previously shared for more details. All rescues took place in international waters, in the Libyan SRR, in the strictest adherence to the UNCLOS, SOLAS and SAR conventions. On the 9th and 12th August, JRCC Tripoli communicated Tripoli as a Place of Safety for the disembarkation of 356 survivors. Ocean Viking responded on the 10th and 12th August 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 4 rescues allowing to disembark safely the 356 survivors onboard the vessel on the 9th, 10th , 11th and 12th August. No response has been received as of today 15th August 16h47. According to 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 and as soon as possible the 356 survivors, including 103 minors, on board the vessel. We specifically request assistance to ITMRCC and RCC Malta, as according to the locations of the rescues involving our vessel, they are the next two closest RCCs listed on the IMO database. There are some people who have been at sea for over a week. Due to the poor weather conditions, the majority of survivors are suffering from seasickness. The situation on-board remains stable for the time being, with our medical team treating people for various conditions to try and ease their suffering. We hope that a quick solution can be found as soon as possible. I thank you in advance for your collaboration and assistance. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.”
Ocean Viking informs Libyan JRCC that it cannot proceed to disembarkation in Libyan Port
Ocean Viking informs LYJRCC by email, with ITMRCC, MTJRCC and EUNAVFOR Med in CC, that it cannot proceed to disembarkation in Tripoli due to Libyan ports not conforming to the definition of places of safety.
Dear Sir, We acknowledge receipt of your request to proceed to Libya to disembark the 85 survivors of the SAR Case of Ocean Viking on the 9th of August. As you know, under the International Convention on maritime search and rescue to which Libya is a state party, a rescue is only considered as completed once rescued people have been disembarked in a place of safety (As define in the Annex to the 1979 SAR Convention, paragraph 1.3.2 and in the International Maritime Organization 2004 Rescue Guidelines). It is within this framework that the European Commission and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued clear positions stating that currently Libya does not meet the criteria for being designated as a place of safety for the purpose of disembarkation following rescue at sea (https://www.refworld.org/docid/5b8d02314.html. I understand that among the survivors on board there are people, including women, children and unaccompanied minors, who say that if returned to Libya, they would be in danger of being subjected to severe abuses. In light of this clear guidance and international law provisions, we are not in a position to head towards a Libyan port which cannot be considered as a place of safety for rescued people. I respectfully request that as the JRCC coordinating, that you please provide with the indication of a Place of Safety, which fulfils all requirements under all applicable international laws, where the survivors can be safely and promptly disembarked. Please acknowledge receipt of this message”