Op Sophia: 208 migrants rescued off Libya

Op Sophia vessels, assisted by the Spanish air force aircraft Vigma D-4 rescued 208 migrants at sea, while they were sailing towards Europe on March 6.

According to EUNAVFOR, migrants on board two rubber boats were spotted by the Vigma D-4 aircraft 30 Nautical Miles North of Tripoli.

The aircraft then reported their position to the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre that requested EUNAVFOR MED Force Headquarters to intervene.

One rubber boat was assigned to the German corvette FGS Ludwigshafen am Rhein that, with the support of the Spanish frigate ESPS Numancia, rescued 121 migrants from one of the boats.

The rescued migrants were disembarked in Augusta harbour, Italy, on March 7.

Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise saved the remaining 87 migrants from the other boat. Enterprise was assisted by an Italian ship operating under the Italian operation “Mare Sicuro” mandate. The migrants were later transferred on board a Frontex ship operating in the area.

According to the German Navy, the latest rescue operation brought the total number of persons rescued in the south-central Mediterrannean Sea to 11.874 since May, 2015.