Moas has called for coordinated international action to stop migrant deaths.

It issued its appeal today, hours after up to 200 people died when a boat bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast. On the same day, more than 70 bodies were discovered by Austrian authorities in an abandoned lorry on a motorway at the border with Hungary.

Last Wednesday, a ship operated by Malta-based Moas was involved in multiple rescue operations during which 1,000 people were picked up from boats. 

More than 10,000 men, women and children in distress have been rescued at sea by Migrant Offshore Aid Station (Moas) in the year since it started operating. Moas is Europe’s first privately funded search and rescue operation. 

"The latest tragedies clearly show that the assets at sea and the efforts to save people are not enough and the maritime humanitarian crisis is far from being over," Moas said.

“We are experiencing mass migratory movements as a direct result of conflict in various parts of the world. Europe should take the lead because this is happening in its backyard but others should also show their support,” said director Martin Xuereb.

“As long as thousands of human beings feel they have no other option other than embarking on a life-threatening crossing, Moas  urges decision makers to put search and rescue at the top of their agendas. A collective humanitarian action at sea - by governments, NGOs, private initiatives - continues to be vital.” he added.

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