Photo: Head of Mission Henning Toben, trained SAR expert from MRCC Bremen.
On November 16th the first operation of Sea-Watch in the Aegean Sea took place, with a successful outcome.
The German organisation have been actively involved in two rescues, in collaboration with the Coast Guard of Mithimna, Lesvos.
Rescue 1: the SW crew reported a situation of distress to the local authorities and have been asked to stand by the migrants boat, while waiting for the Coast Guard SAR unit to reach the area. The people in need of help have been found on a dinghy, which was drifting and unfloating. The crew ensured the safety of the migrants, prioritising the numerous children.
Rescue 2: the SW crew has been asked by the local Coast Guard to reach a given position, to provide first response to a distress call. The SW personnel assisted the migrants until the Coast Guard’s arrival and take over of the situation, a the competent national authority to carry out rescue operations in the area.
The RIB allows SW to quickly move in the area and lessen the burden on the local Coast Guard, by offering lookout and first aid capabilities, in support to its units. Ensuring the safety of the migrants while waiting for the intervention of the authorities can make a substantial difference, indeed.
Operations concluded with grateful words from the Coast Guard for the collaboration offered by Sea-Watch. This represents a crucial step forward for the German NGO, which has not only been formally acknowledged as active entity on the island, but has now established an effective cooperation with the local SAR authority, at the operational level.