André has spent a couple of weeks on the vessel Aquarius, documenting the search and the rescue of migrants by the teams of the humanitarian organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Méditerranée.
The vessel patrols the Mediterranean waters between the Lybian and the italian coasts.
A 25-person crew – seafarers, rescue workers, doctors and nurses – coordinates the operation on the boat which can take up to 500 shipwrecked refugees. To carry out their rescues, the team is in contact with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre based in Rome, which receives all the distress signals.
Fewer people have attempted the perilous trip across the Mediterranean to Europe this year. And yet, it’s been the deadliest year ever for migrants – 3,800 deaths. That’s 13 a day. Blame it on more crowded boats, unscrupulous smugglers and bad weather.