Ocean Viking sends an email to ITMRCC requesting assistance in finding a Place of Safety for the 247 people rescued onboard.
February 17, 2022
Ocean Viking sends an email to ITMRCC, with MTRCC in copy, requesting assistance in the designation of a Place of Safety for the 247 people rescued onboard Ocean Viking.￼
February 14, 2022
MTRCC sends an email to Ocean Viking denying responsibility in the designation of a Place of Safety for the people rescued onboard Ocean Viking.
August 7, 2021
Ocean Viking sends a sixth request to ITMRCC (with MTRCC, LYJRCC and TNMRCC in copy) requesting assistance in finding a Place of Safety and facilitate a prompt disembarkation of all remaining 449 survivors.
August 6, 2021
Ocean Viking sends a fifth request to ITMRCC (with MTRCC, LYJRCC and TNMRCC in copy) requesting assistance in finding a Place of Safety and facilitate a prompt disembarkation of all remaining 550 survivors.
August 5, 2021
Ocean Viking sends a fourth request to ITMRCC (with MTRCC, LYJRCC and TNMRCC in copy) requesting assistance in finding a Place of Safety and facilitate a prompt disembarkation of all remaining 553 survivors.
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
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”
Ocean Viking requests a change of position to seek shelter from worsening weather conditions and Covid-19 tests for the crew onboard
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.”
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. “
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. “
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 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 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.”
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 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 a request to ITMRCC and MTJRCC to evacuate 39 survivors, some of whom have expressed suicidal intent and threatened to harm themselves and the crew
“There is a small group currently on board the ship who have threatened to firstly, self-harm and some have started to threaten the crew. […] We request that this group plus a few other individuals from other rescues (39 people total) be evacuated from the vessel asap. Within this group there is a smaller group who are on suicide watch and are being cared for by the medical team.
The remaining people on board are compliant and are not causing any problems though they do continue to suffer as well.”
Italian MRCC acknowledges receipt of PoS request and informs it forwarded it to competent authority
On the 29th of November, we asked JRCC Tripoli to assign a Place of Safety for the disembarkation of the survivors. No response has been received.
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), Ocean Viking is now formally requesting Maltese and Italian maritime authorities, as the RCCs better 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 60 survivors on board the vessel.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message”
Ocean Viking is on standby at position at 35°50.6’N 013°12.5’E waiting for a place of safety for the 213 survivors
We understand that discussions are ongoing between authorities in order to find a solution to disembark all survivors onboard Ocean Viking. All the effort from the involved parties is greatly appreciated.
The overall situation onboard is becoming more complicated each day for the 356 survivors onboard including 103 minors, the youngest being 1 year old and a majority of whom are unaccompanied.
Some people have now been onboard for 14 days after our first rescue in addition to the 3 days they spent at sea adrift on a rubber boat. We completed a total of 4 rescues, the 4th of which was critical as one of the chambers completely deflated during the rescue and multiple people had to be recovered from the water.
Our medical team is continuously treating patients who have suffered physical abuse in Libya and we have a few patients who require either constant pain management or monitoring. While these cases are not currently considered emergencies, they do require further medical care that cannot be provided onboard.
Multiple people have been flagged as being extra vulnerable, having been victims of various forms of abuse during their journey to Libya and while being held in Libya. The vast majority of people are suffering from long term psychological trauma which needs immediate attention for long term recovery which can only be started upon being disembarked in a place of safety. It can clearly be felt that the continued wait onboard is only prolonging their suffering and delaying their access to the proper care they need.
The humanitarian conditions on board are worsening and our capacity to keep the situation under control can not be guaranteed anymore. In addition to the deteriorating conditions, we only have 5 days of rations left on board for survivors.
We need to disembark the 356 survivors as soon as possible in a place of safety that meets all the legal requirements. We kindly request any assistance in finding a swift solution for this ongoing situation.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message. ”
Ocean Viking is standing by in the overlapping Italian and Maltese SRR in the international waters, at the position 35°59.7’N 013°28.9’E, waiting for further guidance from the authorities
Ocean Viking is standing by in the overlapping Italian and Maltese SRR in the international waters, at approximately 32 nautical miles from the European coasts, waiting for further guidance from the authorities
“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.”