Save the Children’s Search-and-Rescue Ship Returns to Sicily with More than 300 Refugees and Migrants after Assisting in Mass Rescue in Mediterranean

Vos Hestia

Child Refugee Crisis Relief Fund

Media Contact
Erin Taylor 267.250.8829 (M)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 12, 2016) — Save the Children’s search-and-rescue ship the Vos Hestia arrived at Trapani port in Sicily today with more than 300 refugees and migrants on board – including pregnant women, unaccompanied children and a newborn baby.

The migrants, who are mainly from West Africa, were transferred from an overcrowded rescue ship onto the Vos Hestia in the Central Mediterranean on Saturday afternoon, after the vessel responded to a call from the Italian Coast Guard.

More than 50 children on board have told Save the Children staff that they are traveling alone. Many of them said they were sent by their families in a desperate bid to escape a life blighted by conflict, persecution or extreme poverty.

Among the adults on board, one woman is more than nine months pregnant. She’s already been treated by Save the Children’s doctor on the ship and will be taken to a hospital as soon as disembarkation begins after landing.

According to the Italian Coast Guard, more than 2,000 refugees and migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean over the course of the weekend. 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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