Icelandic Coast Guard vessel Týr assisted in the rescue of 284 refugees in the Mediterranean on Tuesday. A total of 184 refugees were rescued from two small dinghies north of the Libyan coast, ruv.is reports.
A further 100 refugees were rescued by an Italian patrol boat and transferred to Týr for treatment, meaning that there are currently 284 refugees, 163 men, 20 women, some of whom were pregnant, and one child, on board Týr. The patrol boat is heading for Italy and was expected to dock in Augusta in Sicily early yesterday afternoon.
After the journey on the small open boats, the refugees are said to have been worn out and frightened.
Týr and the Icelandic Coast Guard’s surveillance aircraft Dash 8 are carrying out assignments for Frontex, the European Union’s external borders agency.
Týr rescued two large groups of refugees of around 400 in early December and a group of 450 in January.
A record number of refugees died attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2014. More than 3,400 people perished in the waters off Europe last year, according to UNHCR. A total of 207,000 made the journey, three times as many as in 2011, which was a record year. The largest group was from Syria, or 60,000 individuals.