Saturday, August 30, 2014

The millionaires who rescue people at sea

ImmigrationProf has previously reported on migrants dying in the Mediterranan on the journey to Europe.  The BBC has an interesting report about a philanthropist couple have launched what they say is the world's first privately funded vessel to help migrants in trouble at sea.

"Last summer, Regina Catrambone and her husband Chris were on board a yacht cruising around the Mediterranean - but the idyllic holiday scene was interrupted when they spotted something in the sea. "My husband and I were on the deck and we saw a winter jacket floating in the water, like a ghost," says Regina. They asked the captain how it ended up there. "His face became very dark and he said probably the person who was wearing it is not with us any more. That started to trigger our attention." They realised it had probably belonged to one of the thousands of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe - 1,889 have died in these waters since the start of the year, 1,600 of them since the beginning of June.

"Since then the couple, who are in their 30s, have drawn deeply from their own pockets to fund a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix, based in Malta, where they live. It has dinghies and two state-of-the art drones which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa."


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