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Wed May 6, 2015, 09:11 PM

A ship dedicated to saving North African refugees...

Just one mission saving 369 Eritraen migrants from a sinking 45' boat.

Just one of many. Heartbreaking, but someone is there. Should be more.


David Greene talks to Christopher Catrambone, who, along with his wife, spent $8 million to buy and re-fit a 146-foot ship to save migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.
In the past month, over 1,200 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in tiny, over-packed boats. They're among hundreds of thousands of migrants expected to try and reach Europe by sea, fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Middle East. We were able to catch up with someone at the center of this crisis.
CATRAMBONE: Yes, we have two Schiebel S-100 Campcopter drones. They basically give us a 60 nautical mile radius around the boat. And they're very, very beneficial for spotting vessels using their infrared cameras because it's just such a vast sea out there, and it's difficult to locate these by boats. And so if you've got some air assets, it really provides an advantage.

GREENE: And so you used these drones, and you were able to find this ship that was in distress. Tell me what happened next.

CATRAMBONE: Yeah, basically we were able to identify it. It was a wooden boat of about 15 meters. And when we first spotted it with the drones, you could just see how packed it was with people on it. As soon as we were able to locate it, the Phoenix made its way to the boat and began distributing lifejackets to all 369 people on board. None of them had lifejackets. They were all without. After we were able to distribute the lifejackets, we began embarking all the women and children first and all the men as well. And everybody on board was from Eritrea, and they were all Christian as well. The number of pregnant women was about eight. And we had various types of injuries that were treated by the Medecins Sans Frontieres doctors on board Phoenix. We had some diabetes and had about 30 percent of the people with scabies. So it was quite an intense time with them because once we completed work, then we got another call asking us to locate a rubber boat with over a hundred people on it. And we did locate that boat, and we assisted them to be transferred onto a commercial vessel. It was quite a dramatic rescue because it was happening at night, and it's very difficult to do a rescue at night. And, of course, people get tired. They had been at sea for a long time. And it's just really treacherous conditions. So it's - it's been quite an intense period since we set sail out of Malta's Grand Harbour.

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Reply A ship dedicated to saving North African refugees... (Original post)
TreasonousBastard May 2015 OP
kentauros May 2015 #1

Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:58 PM

1. Yes, it should be more.

The very fact that someone has stepped up to help fills one with hope that more will begin to do something similar

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