Search and rescue vlog: “The little girl collapsed in desperate pain”

“She had very severe burns on both her left and right upper thigh... When we spoke to herself and her sister we learned that she had been assaulted.”

On 1 August 2018, Aquarius, a search and rescue ship operated by Médecins Sans Frontières and SOS MEDITERANEE, set sail for international waters off the coast of Libya to rescue people in distress at sea.

With few humanitarian ships in the region, and in the absence of dedicated search and rescue operations by European states, men, women and children are risking their lives to escape from violence and exploitation in Libya.

Irish nurse Aoife Ní Mhurchú is MSF’s Vulnerable Persons Focal Point on board the ship, tasked with identifying, documenting and referring people who are defined as vulnerable -  such as unaccompanied minors, victims of torture, survivors of sexual violence, disabled people, people with psychiatric illness, or people suspected of being trafficked.

Aoife recorded the crew’s work as Aquarius searched for boats in distress.