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EU must do more as untold numbers of people die at sea

Syrian refugee girl resuced from the Mediterranean
A young Syrian girl is brought on board our ship by one of our team members.

A rubber dinghy capsized yesterday in the Mediterranean, leaving at least 12 people dead – although the numbers who drowned is likely to be much higher.

Our search and rescue ship was one of the vessels called to help rescue people who’d been on the dinghy, which capsized off the North African coast due to bad sea conditions.

29 people were rescued and 12 bodies were recovered – but as these dinghies usually carry more people than this, the number of drowned and missing people could be much higher.

Our ship, along with others, continued to search for survivors throughout the night.

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Safe routes are vital

Roger Alonso, team leader on board our ship, said: “This is yet another tragic reminder that when there are no safe and legal routes, people will die at sea.

“The EU should provide safe and legal routes into Europe such as resettlement, humanitarian visas and increased flexibility in family reunification processes, which all should ensure minimum standards of protection, especially for children,” he continued.

A deadly year

More people have drowned so far this year than during all of last year.

This means that 2016 is already the deadliest year on record for those making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

“This loss of life highlights the importance of search and rescue operations to prevent people losing their lives at sea,” Alonso says.

Our ship rescues children and their families who are in danger in the Mediterranean.

Once on board the ship, we provide them with food, water, clothes and medical treatment.

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