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

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 believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.


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