Ocean Viking RHIBs complete the transfer of the 34 survivors from SV Josefa in position 33°54.3’N 012°47.2’E (63 NM from the Libyan coast) to MV Ocean Viking. 1 pregnant woman and 1 year old child are among them.
Rescue of a rubber boat completed, 50 survivors safely onboard Ocean Viking
Aquarius calls ITMRCC to inform that a merchant ship has rescued or is rescuing people. Aquarius informs that either the information provided by ITMRCC earlier was inaccurate or there is a second rescue underway. Aquarius informs that it remains ready to assist any rescue operation and has two doctors, two nurses and a midwife on board to provide medical assistance in case of need.
ITMRCC calls Aquarius informing that the Libyan Coast has completed the rescue of the boat in distress
ITMRCC calls Aquarius informing that the Libyan Coast has completed the rescue of the boat in distress. Aquarius asks for a SAR number and the position of the boat. ITMRCC is unable to provide this information.
Aquarius sends request for coordination of SAR event to the following European MRCCs
Please be informed that the Aquarius 2 has received an alert for a rubber boat in distress within the Libyan SRR at pos. 33-35.4 N 012-27-0E with between 100-150 pax on board. This information was received by the Maritime Patrol Aircraft(MPA) “Seagull 95.” Aquarius has tried to contact JRCC Tripoli but has had no answer (this has been consistently the case for a week regarding other SAR events). It is also important to note that we have consistently attempted to contact ITMRCC who in response informs us that we must contact JRCC Tripoli. Consistently, we have been trying all of this with no success. The confusion around the coordination of the rescue operation only delays the intervention and puts the lives of those in danger at further unnecessary risk. Since there is an ongoing conflict in Tripoli right now, perhaps JRCC Tripoli are unable to reply.
At present, the Aquarius 2 is proceeding towards the position of the distress. Seagull 95 has been trying to contact *** ***** (callsign ******** MMSI **********); however, this appears not to have worked. It is important to mention that *** ***** was in contact with MPA Colibri yesterday and was informed of a boat in distress with 30pax near their position. They informed the Colibri that they could not help and then moved away from the boat in distress leaving the people in danger. Again for this reason, the Aquarius 2 is proceeding towards the distress position and will assist immediately if needed as per International Maritime Law. We request that a RCC in a position to reply please coordinate this event for the safety of those people on board the boat in distress. Please send a InMarsat C alert to all vessels in the area. Weather conditions in the area are getting steadily worse over the coming hours and next days.
For any other questions please refer to our electronic logbook, available at onboard-aquarius.org.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message.
Maritime patrol aircraft informs of distress case of rubber boat on VHF channel 16
Maritime patrol aircraft on channel 16 calls *** **** twice with no response
Maritime patrol aircraft calls “any vessel in the vicinity” on channel 16
Aquarius responds. Maritime patrol aircraft says that they are trying to contract *** **** who should be in the vicinity of a rubber boat in distress and tasked to conduct a rescue by MRCC but cannot be located. Maritime Patrol aircraft asks Aquarius if they have had contact with *** ****. Aquarius replies negative. The position of the rubber boat in distress is 33°35’4N, 012°27’E and it is heading north at a speed of 5 to 6 knots. 50 NM from Aquarius’ current position.
INMARSAT distress alert is sent out again concerning the sinking boat of 100 people
INMARSATdistress alert is sent to all ships containing same information about a sinking boat containing approx. 100 people and requesting all ships in the area to proceed immediately to the position provided.
INMARSAT alarm to all ships signaling the distress of a boat of 100 people, reported to be sinking north al Khoms
INMARSAT alarm to all ships signaling the distress of a boat of 100 people, reported to be sinking north of al Khoms at the last known position of 33 14 N, 014 08 E, at 17h35. Message says to contact JRCC Libya via IMRCC Rome.
Patrol boat al Khifa says it will leave the situation to Aquarius, whilst emphasizing Aquarius should immediately leave Libyan SRR afterwards
LCG calls Aquarius and says it should stay 80 NM from the shore, otherwise they could face legal action in Tripoli. Patrol boat Al Khifa says to Aquarius “you made a big problem, we are not able to take the people onboard because you started taking people. So we will leave the situation to you. You will then immediately go away from the Libyan coast at 94NM, you have disrupted operations in this area, you are not welcome here”.
Aquarius explains that it cannot move 5 miles away as people are currently in distress
In a situation of distressl, according to international maritime law, a vessel must proceed as fast as possible to the scene of distress. Therefore, Aquarius explains it cannot move 5 miles away as people are currently in distress and need to be assisted.
Aquarius receives Iridium phone call from NGO Alarm Phone, speaking of a wooden boat carrying approximately 50 people heading North from Zuwara, including 20 women, taking on water. The boat is reportedly in position 33°05’0N, 012°12’5 E. Aquarius is in position 33°36’3 N, 011°57’5 E.
Aquarius hears a VHF conversation between a sailing boat and the Tunisian Navy. The former informs the Tunisian Navy that a small rubber boat with 5 “migrants” onboard is in positon 37°28.1N 010°55.0E. The sailing boat provided the 5 people with water. Aquarius is approximately 10 nautical miles from the rubber boat’s position. It alters course and proceeds towards the position provided.
AQUARIUS SAR Operations > 5 survivors, 17-25 August 2018, disembarkation: Tunisian Navy boat
Aquarius stops in the international waters, at the position 35°59.1’N, 013°31.6’E, at 32 Nautical miles from the Italian coast (Linosa Island), and 32 Nautical miles from the Maltese coast, on the line separating the Maltese SRR and the overlapping Italian and Maltese SRR.
Replying to Aquarius’ request of assistance in designating a place of safety where all survivors can be disembarked as soon as possible, the Italian MRCC informs Aquarius by email that it “did not provide an Italian place of safety because the SAR cases where not coordinated by the Italian MRCC“.
Parties shall co-ordinate and co-operate to ensure that masters of ships providing assistance by embarking persons in distress at sea are released from their obligations with minimum further deviation from the ships´ intended voyage, provided that releasing the master of the ship from these obligations does not further endanger the safety of life at sea. The Party responsible for the search and rescue region in which such assistance is rendered shall exercise primary responsibility for ensuring such co-ordination and co-operation occurs, so that survivors assisted are disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety, taking into account the particular circumstances of the case and guidelines developed by the Organization. In these cases, the relevant Parties shall arrange for such disembarkation to be effected as soon as reasonably practicable.[Click here for legal reference]
SOLAS : Contracting Governments shall co-ordinate and co-operate to ensure that masters of ships providing assistance by embarking persons in distress at sea are released from their obligations with minimum further deviation from the ships’ intended voyage, provided that releasing the master of the ship from the obligations under the current regulation does not further endanger the safety of life at sea. The Contracting Government responsible for the search and rescue region in which such assistance is rendered shall exercise primary responsibility for ensuring such co-ordination and co-operation occurs, so that survivors assisted are disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety, taking into account the particular circumstances of the case and guidelines developed by the Organization. In these cases the relevant Contracting Governments shall arrange for such disembarkation to be effected as soon as reasonably practicable.[Click here for legal reference]
RHIB “Easy 1” is next to the boat, reporting 11 people on board, 9 men and 2 children
The Libyan JRCC informs Aquarius by email that “As coordination authority for SARev. 661, now I tell you there is a small white fiber boat with 10 people on board in psn 3350N 01150E at 1115LT, course North, speed 5. Now you go to this position to rescue the people.”
Maltese RCC informs Aquarius that it will not coordinate a place a safety
2 rescue RHIB launched at sea to provide assistance with rescuers and medical team onboard. All team ready on deck to take in charge the survivors. Massive floating devices ready on deck in case of emergency.
It’s on the duty of the Master “to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost” and “to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress” according to the maritime convention [Click for legal reference]
Commence sea passage in convoy with Italian Coastguard vessel CP940 and Italian Navy ship Orione P410. The Italian RCC designated the Italian coastguard vessel CP940 as OSC. CP940 will lead the convoy, Aquarius in the middle, Italian navy ship Orione will follow. Safety distance of 1 Nautical miles between the ships. Working channel will be VHF 72.
Start of transfer operation from Aquarius to Italian military ship Orione
Aquarius received a phone call from ITMRCC with information that 2 rubber boats with about 120 persons on board each have been spotted few minutes before by EUNAVFOR MED aircraft in position 33°41’N 013°57’E.
Vessel position 34°08’N 013°52’E. Both rubber boats reported to be underwayheading north at approx. 4 kts. Designated SAR cases 392 and 393. MV Aquarius instructed to proceed to perform rescue operation on these 2 rubber boats.
SAR Case 391: LNCG takes over responsability of the SAR Case