Van Oord cable layer saves 49 refugees offshore Malta

Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Nexus has rescued 49 refugees offshore Malta in the Mediterranean Sea.

Nexus was contacted on the night of 16-17 November by the Malta Rescue Coordination Centre to give support in the worsening weather conditions.

The 123-meter-long cable-laying vessel, with 27 crew members, is now on its way to Malta, where a transfer to the Maltese coastguard is planned this evening.

According to Van Oord, it is not familiar how many days the refugees were on a sea journey. However, all appear to be in good health but weakened and some were hypothermic.

All 49 are men, the company said, adding that their origin is unknown due to language barriers.

Yesterday it was reported that the crew onboard Jan De Nul’s offshore installation vessel Simon Stevin rescued 15 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea on 10 November.

Eight men, two women and five children had been drifting for several days some 75 kilometers off the coast of Algeria. They spent the night on board and were picked up by the Algerian coastguard on the morning of 11 November.