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MOAS - The first few hours at sea

The much awaited Operation MOAS 2 was launched by MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) in partnership with Doctors without Borders, at noon on 2 May 2015.  In less than 24 hours, MY Phoenix was directed toward a vessel which was reported to be in distress and carrying over 350 men, women, and children. The MY Phoenix Operations Team scrambled the Remote Piloted Aircraft to locate the vessel. 

MY Phoenix was in position to launch the Emergency RHIB (Rigid-hulled inflatable boat) in two hours. Emergency supplies were prepared; the RHIB crew were briefed; and MSF doctors and medics stood by ready and waiting to assist.  Collaborating with the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre) in Rome, MY Phoenix crew members began transferring 369 people on board, by RHIB to MY Phoenix.

The transfer took many hours to complete.  Once the people were on board My Phoenix, the focus of the rescue operation shifted to medical care and post rescue assistance under the expert leadership of the Doctors without Borders team.    My Phoenix was then directed by MRCC Rome to Pozzallo, Sicily where those who were rescued were to disembark.

While Sicily bound, MY Phoenix came across a rubber dinghy, carrying 104 persons, had lost power and was adrift.  MY Phoenix remained in the area and provided over watch until a merchant vessel arrived and began rescue operations. The MY Phoenix crew assisted the merchant vessel crew transfer the people from the dinghy to the larger vessel.  Once the transfer was completed, MY Phoenix continued on its way to Sicily.

Medical Bridges is honored to partner with MOAS Founders Regina and Christopher Catrambone and the entire MOAS team led by Program Director Martin Xuereb, who was our guest speaker at the Service Awards Dinner.  Learn more about MOAS at www.moas.eu     


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