PGS seismic vessel takes onboard 89 Afghan refugees
PGS’ 3D seismic vessel Ramform Hyperion yesterday took onboard 89 refugees coming from Afghanistan that it had encountered while in transit from Greece to Malta.
Ramform Hyperion came across a small sailboat with refugees onboard early on 8 January and made contact with the Italian coastguard who instructed the personnel to take them to a location about 20 nautical miles offshore of Sicily, from where the coastguard would take over.
Eighty-nine people were taken onboard during the operation, including 43 men, 21 women, and 25 children, the youngest under two years old. They said they came from Afghanistan and had been at sea for eight to ten days in a sailboat from Turkey.
According to PGS, transit to the agreed meeting point offshore Syracuse went smoothly, and so did the transfer of the refugees to coastguard vessel CP322 late in the afternoon.
“As the weather forecast for Tuesday 10 January is Force 9 gales (over 40-knot winds and estimated wave heights 7-10 meters), it is quite likely that our intervention has saved 89 lives,” PGS stated.
The refugees had been given shelter, food, and water, and all seemed to be in good health, the Norwegian company said.
Ramform Hyperion is now on its way to Malta, as planned.
“In the Mediterranean, the traffic of migrants is increasing and often has tragic outcomes. This presents risks primarily to the refugees, but if things go wrong, potentially also to the ships who encounter them,” said Jan Aake Jenssen, VP of Vessel Operations at PGS.
“PGS’ preparation for the current season of projects in the region included training of our first, second, and third-line emergency response teams, including crews, support vessel management, Operations and corporate management, and collaboration with our clients. It is rewarding that on this occasion our preparations paid off.”