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Life Support Search and Rescue Updates


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People rescued


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25 September 2023
28 People Rescued by Life Support Disembark in Ravenna

After four days and 740 nautical miles of navigation, the 28 people rescued by Life Support have finally disembarked.

We had to travel all the way to Ravenna, in the northeast of Italy – a port four days away from the rescue site, with the last two spent in rough sea conditions.

The justification given for this port assignment was not to burden the operations of other Italian ports, despite only 28 rescued people on board.

The practise of assigning distant ports is keeping civil rescue ships away from the Mediterranean, the deadliest migration route in the world.

25 September 2023
Update from Emanuele, Head of Mission


21 September 2023
28 People Rescued by Life Support

28 people rescued by Life Support in the international waters of the Maltese SAR zone. Among the rescued are nine women and eight children, one of whom is unaccompanied. They come from Syria, Libya and Egypt.

“I never knew what freedom was, ever,” says a 42-year-old Syrian man. “Three months ago, I left because I could no longer find enough work to provide for my loved ones. I had to find a solution. Since I’ve been on board I have understood for the first time what it means to feel free.”

7 September 2023
F. left Egypt to feed his family.

“I left Egypt because life there had become untenable: I couldn’t find work, everything is too expensive, it was difficult even to afford food. Sometimes I couldn’t even buy bread for my brothers and sisters… Is that living?”

F. left Egypt so that he could feed his family. “It is my responsibility,” said the 26-year-old.

He lived in Libya for three months. “Enough time for me to see horrible things.”

“I was imprisoned along with other Egyptians,” he told us. “They kept us in a very small house, treated us like animals. They beat us every day, sometimes for no reason, sometimes to get our family members to send them more money. It was terrible.”

When he saw Life Support, F. recounts, “I thought you were Libyans. I was going to jump into the sea, I would have rather drowned than return to prison in Libya. I still can’t believe I was brought to safety.”

2 September 2023
N. left Syria for her son’s future.

“Sometimes, while we were in Libya, I thought about going back. We were living in poor hygienic conditions, especially for such a small child, who needs constant attention. But the only chance we had to give him a better life was across the sea.”

As she told us her story on the deck of Life Support, N. held her son in her arms. He is just 7 months old.

“We had to sell the family home,” she continued. “Only my husband stayed in Syria, taking care of his parents. They are elderly and cannot move.”

Now, on land, she hopes to reach her brother in Germany and give her son a better future, away from war.

23 August 2023
Today, A. and the other rescued people disembarked in Ortona, Italy.

“I wanted to go back to Sudan, to see my family, but the situation there had only gotten worse,” explains A.F., 30. He is one of 40 people rescued by Life Support during its latest mission in the Mediterranean.

A. comes from Darfur, a region in Sudan that has experienced war, famine, floods and epidemics. Today, it is one of the areas most affected by ongoing fighting in the country: yesterday, a rocket fell into the garden of our Paediatric Centre in Nyala, fortunately without doing any damage.

“Before I left, years ago, some of my friends and family were killed. But I suffered in Libya, there was strong racial discrimination. So I tried to cross the Mediterranean.”

A. was a victim of refoulement – illegal push-backs at sea. He was imprisoned for several months in Libya, and was only able to embark again after paying a ransom.

Today, A. and the other rescued people disembarked in Ortona, Italy.

19 August 2023
40 People Rescued

EMERGENCY’s search and rescue ship Life Support rescued 40 men and boys in international waters. They had set off from Khoms, Libya, in a fibreglass boat.

“We have just completed the rescue of 40 people in international waters, they are now all safe on board,” says Carlo Maisano, Head of Mission

The rescued people come from Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and Sudan, and all seem to be in relatively good health.Life Support is now on its way to its assigned Place of Safety, Ortona.

This page shows updates from Life Support‘s latest missions. For updates from Life Support‘s previous missions, please see the archived update page for missions 1 through 10, which rescued 943 people.

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