Some 245 migrants, including 45 children, were today rescued by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) after the station was directed to a wooden vessel by Italy’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. The group consisted mainly of Syrians and Palestinians.

A second boat carrying around 250 migrants was shadowed by MOAS for a number of hours until the Italian authorities were able to attend to it. All migrants were transferred for eventual disembarkation in Italy.

MOAS, has in the two weeks it has been in operation assisted in the rescue of more than 1,500 migrants, all of whom were disembarked in Italy.

The 40-metre vessel being used by Moas, Phoenix, will remain at sea for its first mission until Sunday and will embark on its second mission on September 21.

So far, it has helped in the rescue of six migrant boats.

On Monday, MOAS assisted in the rescue of approximately 700, taking some 300 migrants on board and assisting in the transportation of around 400 migrants from another boat.

Last week, it rescued migrants from two other boats, one carrying 227 migrants and another carrying 96. In all, it is estimated that MOAS assisted more than 1,500 would-be refugees who were in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

A privately-funded humanitarian initiative, Moas consists of a 40-metre ship, Phoenix, conducted by a professional crew of rescuers, seafarers, paramedics and humanitarians.

The vessel is also equipped with two Schiebel remote piloted aircraft which can monitor the seas from the sky and provide real-time intelligence to MOAS and the Rescue Coordination Centres of Malta and Italy. MOAS will spend 60 days at sea this summer, divided into various missions.

MOAS can be followed on twitter @moas_eu and, hashtag #MOAS.

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