A philanthropist couple who felt compelled to act following the Lampedusa shipwrecks that killed more than 700 asylum in October, has poured millions of euros into the first ever privately-funded sea rescue mission.

Moved by an appeal by Pope Francis, who described the deaths as shameful, Christopher and Regina Catrambone have been working to set up the  Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).

Over the past nine months or so, they have spent millions of euros of their own pocket (the final cost of the expense is still being worked out) to purchase and equip a 43-metre vessel, the Phoenix 1, which will set sail for the central routes navigated by migrants, manned by a professional crew that includes paramedics.

The vessel is also equipped with two drones with mounted cameras, which will give the Phoenix 1 eyes in the sky over a vast areas at sea.

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Visit website: www.moas.eu or follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/moas_eu.

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