Terrifying moment 394 people found in sinking boat

·3-min read

Two rescue ships have saved nearly 400 people who were on board an overcrowded wooden boat in international waters.

Overnight on Sunday, two humanitarian ships rescued 394 migrants from the "dangerously overcrowded" boats in the Mediterranean, in an operation which spanned over six hours, Reuters reported.

The Sea-Watch 3, a vessel run by German NGO Sea Watch, and Ocean Viking, run by European charity SOS Mediterranee retrieved the migrants about 68km from the African Coast.

Over the weekend, 394 people were rescued from a sinking ship in the Mediterranean. Source: Reuters
Over the weekend, 394 people were rescued from a sinking ship in the Mediterranean. Source: Reuters

The yacht Nadir, from the German NGO ResQ Ship, later gave support.

It is not clear if any of the migrants onboard the boat were dead or injured, though Reuters reported it was crammed with people on deck and inside the hull.

At the time of the rescue the engine was not working and the boat was taking in water.

Many people on board the sinking vessel were seen jumping off and trying to swim as humanitarian workers tried to hand out life jackets.

More than 700 people rescued over weekend

According to AFP, more than 700 people were rescued after trying to cross the Mediterranean over the weekend.

SOS Mediterranee said the Ocean Viking carried out six operations in international waters since Saturday.

Off the Maltese coast, 106 people were rescued over the weekend, of that group was aa three-month-old.

On Monday, SOS Mediterranee tweeted that the health of the migrants on board the Ocean Viking was deteriorating, amid "increased swells" and "stifling heat".

"Many are suffering from seasickness today. Some have fainted on our deck due to the heat and the ordeal they lived through", Medical Team Leader Francisca said.

"Some obtained injuries during the crossing, many suffer from body pain. We continue to assess, treat & monitor patients, but all survivors need to disembark in a place of safety as soon as possible."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Ocean Viking alone has 555 passengers on board from this weekend's operations, including at least 28 women, two of whom are pregnant. 

The organisation has yet to determine at which safe port they will be able to leave them.

Celine Schmitt, the spokesman for the UN refugee organisation's French operation, said last month there was an urgent need for an automatic system to share out the new arrivals between countries, to ensure them a better reception — and not leave it to Mediterranean countries to assume sole responsibility.

With Reuters and AFP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting