Save the Children's Search-and-Rescue Ship Sets Sail from Sicily to Save Children's Lives in Deadly Mediterranean

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 8, 2016) — Save the Children’s search and rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, has launched its first search and rescue mission for refugees and migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean.

Based out of the Sicilian port of Augusta, the 194-foot, Italian-flagged vessel has capacity to rescue 300 people at a time. It is equipped with two smaller inflatable boats operated by specialist crews who will carry out the rescue operations.

Once those who have been rescued are transferred onto the main vessel, Save the Children’s team will be on hand to meet people’s basic needs by providing food and water, safe spaces for children and medical facilities. There will also be child protection experts and cultural mediators on board to help identify children who are particularly vulnerable or travelling alone, to ensure they have all the support they need upon arriving in Italy.

The Italian Coast Guard, which is the organization that coordinates all search-and-rescue operations at sea in that area, will direct the vessel toward the boats with refugees and migrants that need help.

Throughout the mission, Save the Children will work closely with all other search-and-rescue organizations already operating in this stretch of sea, as well as with Save the Children Italy, with the aim of assisting those children who are most vulnerable.

Please follow @SaveTheChildren on Twitter for regular updates on our search-and-rescue operation.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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