Rescue Report No. 4: 69 people rescued in overnight operation

Mitglieder des Rettungsteams leuchten bei einem NAchteinsatz zu einem überbesetzten Schlauchboot
Maria Guilia Trombini / SOS Humanity

During the fourth search and rescue mission of Humanity 1, the crew rescued 69 people from distress at sea. The rescue took place in international waters near the Libyan coast.

As a place of savety to disembark, Italian authorities assigned Ravenna, located far to the north of Italy. SOS Humanity, along with the other civilian sea rescue organizations Mission Lifeline and Sea-Eye, filed a complaint with the administrative court in Rome against the policy of assigning distant ports.

Find out more in our press release from 21. april 2023

Last updated 25.04.23, 12:00 CEST

  • Rescue Operations
  • Survivors
  • Minors aboard
  • Women aboard
  • Men aboard
  • Icon mit Steuerrad in den SOS-Humanity Farben blau und gelb.

    5 days crossing from rescue to disembarkation.

  • Grafik Rettungsring gelber Kreis mit blauem Rettungsring

    1,600 kilometers from the place of operation to the assigned port.

  • Grafik Rettungsweste mit gelbem Hintergrund und blauer Weste im Vordergrund

    Nationalities: Among those rescued are people from Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan and Togo.

  • Icon Herzfrequenz in den Farben von SOS Humanity.

    Medical Situation on Board: Many of those rescued were hypothermic, dehydrated and seasick. One person was unconscious at the time of the rescue, but could be stabilized on board.

Search and Rescue Operations:

Karte von SOS Humanity, die das Meer zwischen Lybien und Malta sowie die dortigen Einsätze der Humanity 1 zeigt.

MT SRR: Maltese Search and Rescue Region

LY SRR: Libyan Search and Rescue Region

ITA SRR: Italian Search and Rescue Region


8 April 23 Our rescue ship, Humanity 1, has left the shipyard in Burriana, Spain, where she had previously spent several weeks being refurbished and partially refurbished for upcoming missions. First stop was Siracusa, Italy, we took on board another fast rescue inflatable boat and kits for emergency equipment for rescued people.

14 Aprli 23: Humanity 1 departed Italy and set course for the area of operations in the central Mediterranean.

20 April 23: In the face of strong winds, waves over two metres high and poor visibility, the crew of Humanity 1 rescued 69 people from an overcrowded inflatable boat tonight. The engine had failed and there was no lifesaving equipment on the boat.

Many of the rescued people were seasick, dehydrated and exhausted. One person was unconscious at the time of the rescue but could be stabilised on board Humanity 1. All survivors are now onboard Humanity 1 and are being cared for by our crew.

The Italian authorities have already assigned the distant town of Ravenna as a safe place for the people.

21 April 23: The Humanity 1 continues on its way to Ravenna facing difficult weather conditions. Almost all survivors suffer from severe seasickness and have to vomit frequently. As a result, the effect of the medication we can provide is limited and strengthening food can hardly be absorbed.

The captain asked the responsible Italian Rescue Coordination Centre to assign a safer location closer by: to no avail.

25 April 23: After a 5-day journey, the Humanity 1 has arrived in the port of Ravenna, Italy, and has just completed the disembarkation of the 69 people rescued from distress at sea. All are originally from sub-Saharan Africa, the majority from Sudan. Amongst the survivors are 20 unaccompanied minors.

These people have suffered considerably and traveled far. We are relieved that we were able to bring them to safety. Yet Italy’s systematic ‘distant ports policy’ increases the time they were forced to wait before reaching – and decreases the time we are able to carry out rescues.

At 11:00 today, we will be reporting at the port of Ravenna about our latest rescue operation – as well as the lawsuit we are filing against the systematic allocation of distant ports before the civil court in Rome, together with Sea-Eye and Mission Lifeline.

28 April 23: With all survivors safely ashore in Ravenna, our crew on Humanity 1 is already on their way back to Siracusa and preparing for the next mission. In May, our rescue ship will set off back to the Central Mediterranean.

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SOS Humanity e.V.
Postbox 440352
D-12003 Berlin
Phone +49 (0) 30 2352 5682


SOS Humanity e.V.

IBAN: DE 0410 0500 0001 9041 8451