Norwegian ship rescuces 286 migrants
July 9, Oslo: 286 migrants, on a run down fishing boat heading towards Sicily, were rescued by a Norwegian ship Siem Pilot on Wednesday night, according to authorities.
“The fishing boat was in deplorable condition,” said Force Commander Erling Olsstad, who was part of the rescue.The Siem Pilot, at first built to supply oil platforms in the North sea, is now a part of EU’s border control Frontex and had previously saved 600 migrants on the Mediterranean, last month.
A UNHCR report states that 137,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean sea into Europe during the first six months of 2015. The UNHCR report states that many of these asylum seekers were fleeing from war, conflict or persecution, making the Mediterranean crisis primarily a refugee crisis.
“As Europe debates the best way to deal with the rising crisis on the Mediterranean, we must be clear: most of the people arriving by sea in Europe are refugees, seeking protection from war and persecution,” said António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Guterres said the data received from Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain charts an 83 per cent increase in refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean from January to June – accounts to 137,000 compared to 75,000 in the same period last year.
As the Refugee crisis grows Europe faces a “clear responsibility” of helping those seeking refuge from war and persecution, states Guterres, before adding that to deny that responsibility is to threaten the very building blocks of the humanitarian system Europe worked so hard to build.