Danish tanker saves 222 refugees in Mediterranean
On Sunday, a tanker sailing for the Danish shipping line TORM, became the latest Danish commercial vessel to rescue refugees from the Mediterranean, saving 222 people from two boats off the Libyan coast.
On the morning of June 21, the TORM Arawa tanker received an urgent distress message from the Italian coastguard, requesting assistance for two rubber boats carrying the refugees. It reached the scene just over an hour later and by 2pm had taken 222 people on board.
Following the instructions of the Italian coastguard, the refugees were taken to Port Reggio Calabria at the foot of Italy, where they arrived at 10pm on Monday.
Commitment to international maritime laws
Jesper Jensen, the head of TORM’s technical division, said the company acted in accordance with international maritime agreements and conventions for the protection of human life.
“I am pleased that our capable crew acted according to procedures and saved so many lives, reflecting outstanding commitment to international maritime laws and humanitarian efforts,” he said.
Jensen described the rescue itself to DR Nyheder.
“The rubber boats were jam-packed with people and there wasn’t much space, so it was good they were picked up and got something to eat and drink,” he said.
“It actually happened quite undramatically. And everyone was fresh and in good health because they were saved close to the Libyan coast, so they hadn’t been in the rubber boats very long.”
Danish shipping companies have already been involved in ten rescue operations involving boat refugees in the first half of 2015.