Op Sophia Vessels Rescue 500 Migrants

In yet another rescue operation five Eunavfor Med Force units saved the lives of more than 500 migrants yesterday, November 5.

Two air assets, the Spanish Orion P3 and the Luxembourgian SW3 Merlin III “Seagull” aircraft, spotted 3 overcrowded boats, 1 fishing vessel and 2 skiffs, early in the morning.

The European mission Flagship, ITS Cavour, as requested by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), coordinated the operations involving 3 ships from its Task Force fleet, the Belgian Leopold I, the British Richmond and the Slovenian Triglav. The transfer onboard was concluded in the afternoon.

The Leopold I, with 258 migrants onboard, sailed towards the Sicilian harbor of Augusta while Triglav and Richmond transferred the migrants (76 and 134 each) onboard the Italian Cost Guard ship Diciotti.

In 4 months, the Operation Sophia’s assets have been involved in 24 rescue operations contributing to save more than 5000 lives.

The crew of BNS Leopold I captured the operation as it unfolded.

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Images: Belgian Navy