27,000 lives saved by search and rescue charity in Mediterranean

A boat carrying asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/L.Boldrini (File Photo)

Around 27,000 lives have been saved in the past two years by a charity set up by one American family who felt a "call to action" to help refugees and migrants.

That's according to Christopher Catrambone, founder of Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) who was at UN Headquarters in New York this month, taking part in a meeting on large movements of refugees and migrants.

MOAS was set up in 2013, after 400 migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The Catrambone family bought a ship and converted it into search-and-rescue vessel, and last year public funding enabled MOAS to expand into a global NGO.

So far this year, around 3,500 have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean according to latest UN figures.

Mr Catrambone spoke to Abdulmalek Alhamedi.

Duration: 3'38"

Filed under Today's Features.
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