The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

MOAS launches 2017 maritime search and rescue mission, this year with maritime patrol aircraft

Friday, 31 March 2017, 09:44 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Malta-based search and rescue charity MOAS will launch its 2017 Central Mediterranean mission to save lives at sea tomorrow. For the first time, the operation will combine the maritime component with a manned aerial asset, the charity said this morning.

Having established itself as the first civil society SAR organisation involved in this migration phenomenon, MOAS leaves on its fifth mission since its launch in 2014. To date the charity has rescued over 33,000 children, women and men. The 40-meter vessel Phoenix will once again be used, and will this year be joined by a fixed wing manned aerial asset as the organisation continues to push the boundaries of technology and innovation in the field of SAR.

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The addition of this mission critical maritime patrol aircraft, sponsored by The One Foundation, is a development of MOAS' history in combining aerial and maritime assets. The selected aircraft will allow for greater reach and is equipped with a full mission suite that allows enhanced detection of vessels in distress. Daily patrols will contribute to situation awareness and enable MOAS to be more effective at saving lives at sea.

The Phoenix will again be manned by a professional search and rescue team, joined by a hand-picked post rescue care unit. The team of doctors, paramedics, nurses and logisticians will run its clinic and provide social and medical care, including the provision of Halal hot meals, to those rescued for the duration of their stay.

MOAS said it will continue to operate within the framework of UNCLOS and International Maritime Law. Operations will be conducted in collaboration with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome and all other stakeholders operating in the field.

MOAS Co-Founder and Director Regina Catrambone comments, "Our crews will head out to sea for our fifth mission with both maritime and aerial assets, acting on behalf of all civil society on the front line of this era-defining humanitarian crisis. We owe our presence at sea to those who continue to support our mission and who believe, as we do, that no one deserves to die at sea."

MOAS continues to work towards implementing safe and legal routes as an alternative to the deadly maritime crossing. However, as long as desperate people continue to risk their lives in search of safety and peace, the organisation will continue to be present to rescue them at sea.

To find out more about MOAS' #SafeAndLegalRoutes campaign, visit: https://www.moas.eu/moasxchange-2017/


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