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The "Ocean-Viking", which helps migrants, prohibits food supplies in Malta
"Ocean-Viking" in the port of Marseille on August 4th. CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP

The successor of theâ € ™ Aquarius know his first disappointments. While theOcean-Viking wanted to refuel in Malta, the small country refused him its territorial waters, forcing him to set the course directly on the relief zone, Thursday 8 August in the morning. This is the first time that Malta has banned a boat from approaching at the very last moment when it has gone further east.

The 69-meter building flying the Norwegian flag left Marseille Sunday night and wanted to refuel before launching its operations in the search and rescue area. "We have water, fuel, people waiting to be rescued, we continue", coordinator of relief operations, Nicholas Romaniuk, told his troops disappointed by the Maltese authorities' turnaround. Romaniuk believes the fuel on boardOcean-Viking will allow him to conduct rescue operations for ten to twelve days, less than hoped.

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30,000 migrants rescued

This mission is the first of this ship, which succeedsAquarius whose Panama flag has been removed. Banished for ten months, SOS Mediterranean's sea rescuers have multiplied the briefings and trainings on board in recent days to familiarize themselves with this new boat and to better frame the newcomers in their ranks.

The NGO, which has been leading rescue campaigns in the central Mediterranean since 2016, has developed precise protocols to oversee its operations, which must be repetitive. imagining all kinds of scenarios, and especially the worst ones. Thanks to their quasi-military organization, SOS Mediterranean and MSF have saved more than 30,000 lives in less than three years aboardAquarius.

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