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Rescue people in distress. Protect survivors. Bear witness at sea.



Eyes Of The Photographer

[Eyes of the photographer] “The only thing I can do is to testify, so that at least these twelve people do not disappear without a trace, so that their death is recognised.”

On Monday 25 April 2022, the SOS MEDITERRANEE rescue team rescued 94 people in a complex operation with the Libyan coastguard on scene. A few hours later, survivors shared a heart-breaking event with the team onboard: 15 people on the overcrowded rubber boat fell into the water during the night. Only 3 made it back, the others likely drowned. 12 people are officially missing. Claire, communications officer and photographer, explains this sad sequence of events. 

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Rotation 025.1 OV - Ocean Viking SOS MEDITERRANEE - First patrol

Life and death in the central Mediterranean

Professional photographer, Nissim embarked onboard Ocean Viking for his first mission, on January 16, 2023. He joined SOS MEDITERRANEE’s communication team to continue documenting the tragic reality unfolding in the central Mediterranean. Nissim recalls the race against the clock to find 4 missing people fallen overboard before our team arrived on scene, on January 25. After the rescue of 95 survivors from an overcrowded rubber boat in international waters off Libya, teams were alerted by some of the survivors that several people had fallen overboard before our arrival, and that some couldn’t be recovered on the rubber boat. That day, at least 4 more people perished in the central Mediterranean. 

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Screenshot Eyes Of The Videographer Camille Martin

[Video] “A lot of the women never got out of the shelter.”

On her first mission on Ocean Viking, the professional videographer …

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SOS MEDITERRANEE is a European humanitarian and maritime search and rescue organisation operating in the central Mediterranean. It was founded by citizens in May 2015 in response to the deaths in the Mediterranean and the failure of the European Union to prevent these deaths.

SOS MEDITERRANEE works as a European association with teams in Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland in a European network, jointly financing and operating a rescue ship. From February 2016 to December 2018, SOS MEDITERRANEE chartered and operated the rescue ship Aquarius. Since August 2019, SOS MEDITERRANEE charters and operates the Ocean Viking. Since the launch of our operation, we have assisted more than 34.500 people in distress at sea.