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Update

Rescue Ship Vos Hestia to Provide Aid in Ongoing Refugee Crisis It is a daily fact that migrants and refugees are at risk of drowning as they make the perilous journey from North Africa to Europe— more than 3,000 people have drowned this year. And the journey will only become riskier as winter approaches. But thanks to the work of the charity, Save the Children, together with shipowner Vroon and classification society RINA Services, a specifically dedicated rescue ship has been classified to rescue those that run into difficulty when crossing the Mediterranean. In 2016, Save the Children began an ambitious project to use a vessel from the Dutch shipowner Vroon to save the lives of refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea. International marine regulations state that a ship is to be classified according to her intended service. RINA has introduced in its classification rules the “Rescue” notation for cargo ships dedicated to rescuing refugees. In special search and rescue operations, the rescue capacity of the ship is to be maximized, prioritizing refugees reaching dry land safely rather than standard accommodation. The set of requirements are aimed at

The Vos Hestia’s first mission helped save 300 refugees

maximizing passenger carrying capacities while complying with international regulation. Compliance with these requirements allowed for the Vos Hestia to be classified with the new service notation “Rescue.” The 59 m Vos Hestia’s first rescue mission took place this past July, and assisted about

300 refugees from Nigeria, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Ghana, Cameroon, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Sudan. There were about 55 women; four accompanied children; and 60 unaccompanied children, who are believed to be under age of 18, including a 12-year-old boy.

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