Italy to take in 352 migrants saved by MOAS in the early hours of Tuesday morning
Miriam Dalli is reporting from aboard the Topaz Responder
352 Eritrean migrants saved on Tuesday morning have turned to prayer, singing praises to the Virgin Mary as thanks for having been rescued by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station.
The Orthodox Christians, who lost four young men during the harrowing journey, are exhausted but hope glistens in their eyes as they realize they have finally escaped the abuse of human traffickers and the torture of Libyan prisons and camps.
Following instruction from Rome’s rescue centre, the Topaz Responder is now on its way to Messina, Italy, for the disembarkation of the migrants. The distance between the point of rescue and the vessel’s next port of call is of 330 nautical means, which means that the migrants will spend a total of two nights on board the vessel.
Escaping persecution in their countries, the migrants set off hoping for a new life in Europe with plans of sending money back home to support their families.
They were robbed, tortured and raped and many recount seeing dead bodies along the way of their tortuous journey: every step of the way is the end of a nightmare and the beginning of a new one.
In 2014, MOAS, founded by millionaire philanthropists Christopher and Regina Catrambone, stepped in to help with search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Despite the military and EU naval operations, thousands upon thousands of lives were being lost at sea.
MOAS continues to operate through the support of individual donors and the public at large and is now simultaneously operating with two vessels, the MY Phoenix and the Topaz Responder.
Since launching operations in August 2014, MOAS has rescued and assisted 19,522 men, women and children in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.
5,968 people have been rescued so far this year in the Mediterranean sea.