Illustration Image

[VIDEO] 2,299 lives rescued by Ocean Viking in 2023


In 2023, humanitarian access to the central Mediterranean was obstructed and people seeking safety faced great risks. 

It was the deadliest year in the central Mediterranean since 2017. 

The Libyan Coastguard put the safety of shipwrecked persons and Ocean Viking crew in danger three times. People intercepted by the Libyan Coastguard reported horrific abuse after being forcibly returned to Libya. 

As escalating hostility forced people to flee Tunisia, the Ocean Viking faced her biggest rescue operation to date: 

623 people were rescued in 15 consecutive operations in August. Detentions and designations of faraway ports by Italian authorities to disembark survivors removed vital SAR NGO ships from the central Mediterranean for months. 

The Ocean Viking was detained twice for a total of 30 days and spent more than 60 days navigating to and from distant ports. 

Despite all these challenges, the SOS MEDITERRANEE and IFRC teams on the Ocean Viking saved 2,299 lives this year. 

This is only possible thanks to citizens across the world who refuse to accept the mounting death toll in the Mediterranean. 

As long as enough people care, we will be able to maintain our vital presence at sea. 


Cover picture: Stefano Belacchi / SOS MEDITERRANEE