Survivors aboard ship Geo Barents land safely in Italy after damaging delays | Doctors Without Borders

Akhtar*, a 21-year-old man from Bangladesh, told MSF staff that he left his country almost two years ago. His journey took him first to Syria, then to Libya, and finally to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

“I had no idea how difficult this trip was,” he said. Akhtar described the horrific conditions in Libya, where he was detained by police, held for ransom and threatened with a machete. “I will never forgive myself for causing all this pain to my mother. I haven’t heard from my family since. They don’t know if I drowned in the sea. I just want to call them and let them know. say that I survived.”

The Geo Barents left the port of Catania yesterday. The team will now prepare the ship to return to the search and rescue area in the central Mediterranean. “As a humanitarian organization, we will continue rescue operations at sea in accordance with international maritime law, according to which we have conducted our activities so far,” Gil said. “A rescue begins with getting people out of the water and ends when all survivors land in a safe place.”

MSF has been carrying out search and rescue (SAR) activities in the central Mediterranean since 2015, working on eight different vessels, independently or in partnership with other non-governmental organisations. Since the launch of SAR operations with the Geo Barents in May 2021, MSF has rescued 5,497 people and recovered the bodies of 11 people who died at sea.

*Names have been changed.

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