Rescuing people in distress at sea

MSF’s team rescued 90 people, including 35 minors, from an overcrowded rubber boat in international waters off the Libyan coast. Mediterranean Sea, December 2022. © Candida Lobes/MSF

In 2022, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued search and rescue activities on the Mediterranean Sea to assist people attempting the perilous crossing.

Despite increasing operational and political challenges, the team rescued more than 3,800 people in distress and provided emergency medical assistance to people aboard MSF’s chartered ship, the Geo Barents.

The following images are a testimony to the harrowing experiences survivors face on the world’s deadliest migration route.

The MSF team assists a survivor who was rescued in the middle of the night from an overcrowded rubber boat with 75 other people.
Mediterranean Sea, September 2022. © MSF/Sonsoles Galindo
The MSF medical team assists Fatima* as she delivers her baby on board the Geo Barents. Together with 90 other people, including her three
sons, Fatima was rescued the morning before from an unstable rubber boat. Fatima and her family were then evacuated to Lampedusa,
Italy as she needed specialized care. Mediterranean Sea, December 2022. © Candida Lobes/MSF
After five days at sea, survivors disembark the Geo Barents in Taratano. Among them were 73 minors, the youngest of whom was three months
old. The MSF team conducted six rescues in 12 hours the day they were brought aboard, saving the lives of 315 people in distress.
Italy, July 2022. © Lorène Giorgis/MSF
Fatu takes a selfie with her two children, Awa and Ebrahim, on the women and
children’s deck aboard the Geo Barents. Between 3 and 6 p.m., they can visit male friends and family members on the ground floor deck. Mediterranean Sea, December 2022. © Mahka Eslami