Search and Rescue



In December 2018, while men, women and children continued to drown at sea, MSF was forced to terminate its life-saving work in the Mediterranean after a sustained campaign by European governments to disrupt search and rescue operations.

Why search and rescue?

Every year, people fleeing violence, insecurity, poverty and persecution at home make a perilous attempt to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. 

In 2018 alone, it’s estimated that over 2,000 people died in the attempt. 

MSF is a medical, humanitarian organisation. We could not stand on the shore while thousands of people died. We began search and rescue operations in 2015. 

In the posts below you can hear first-hand from MSF staff who were part of these operations. In them they share their own stories and those of some of the thousands of people rescued at sea.  


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