About 70 migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe took refuge on an oil platform before being handed over to the Tunisian authorities, the giant Shell and an NGO said on Tuesday (January 4th).
Read also More than 270 migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean by the NGO Sea-Watch
The NGO which chartered the vessel "
", specializing in aid to migrants, declared to have rescued 31 people adrift on a skiff while "
65-70 other people found refuge during the night on the oil platform de Shell
”, called Miskar, about 120 km from the Tunisian coast.
Migrants transferred to a Tunisian Navy ship
In a statement, Shell Tunisia Upstream confirmed that an unspecified number of migrants had accessed its offshore platform on Monday around 8:00 p.m. Tunis time (19:00 GMT). "
Assistance was provided to the migrants, who received water, food and dry clothes
," said the company, which informed Tunisian authorities. "
The migrants have since been transferred to a Tunisian Navy vessel on January 4, 2022 at around 2:00 p.m. Tunis time
," she added.
" is a former French Navy ship, 30 meters long, decorated by the artist Banksy, one of its sponsors. It is one of the migrant rescue ships plying the Mediterranean to come to the aid of the tens of thousands of migrants who try to reach Europe every year, often aboard overcrowded makeshift boats.
It is not uncommon for some of them to seek refuge on offshore oil platforms, although the companies warn this can be dangerous.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 115,000 migrants made it to Europe last year, targeting Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus or Malta.
UNHCR estimates that in the first eleven months of 2021, more than 2,500 people died or disappeared at sea while trying to reach Europe, via the Mediterranean and the North West African sea route.