Nordic American Tankers Limited says that one of its vessels was involved in the rescue of 150 migrants in distress after their wooden boat began experiencing engine trouble in the Mediterranean Sea.
NAT says that its crude oil tanker MT Nordic Passat was in an area South East of Sicily on Saturday afternoon when it got involved in the rescue of the refugees. The tanker brought onboard 150 migrants coming from Somalia, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Sudan and Palestinians from Syria and Lebanon, NAT said. Among the refugees were 14 children, 19 women and 117 men who were reported to be in relatively good condition. Once onboard they were given food and shelter.
The rescue operation was completed early Monday morning when the tanker Nordic Passat arrived in Augusta, Italy, NAT said.
Commenting on the rescue, Herbjørn Hansson, the NAT Chairman & CEO, said: “The Captain and his crew performed first class seamanship in accordance with the best maritime traditions to save lives in distressed situations. They all deserve a lot of credit. The incident shows that all links in the NAT organization did function very well in this situation”.
Nordic Passat is now on its way to load crude oil in Libya. There is a crew of 23 persons onboard.
Commercial ships are becoming increasingly involved in high seas rescues in the Mediterranean Sea as a record number of migrants flee Africa bound for Europe onboard overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels.