As a response to the international humanitarian crisis of more than 3,300 people drowned in 2015, the Boat Refugee Foundation sailed the international waters between Libya and Italy with a rescue ship for six weeks in 2016. In this period, we rescued more than 1,500 refugees from drowning in the sea. During our rescue mission, we strictly operated on behalf of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome – the government agency coordinating the rescue missions. It is a legal requirement and part of good seamanship to offer help to people in need at sea. Not helping is not an option. We are aware of the rumors about possible contacts and illegal transports between refugees and the ships of NGOs. However, since we operated our rescue missions strictly through the MRCC, we were not confronted with this type of contacts.
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