Last May, a healthy baby boy was born
on board MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between the international medical humanitarian aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS MEDITERRANEE.
Baby Miracle was born in international waters at 3:45 p.m., with his mother rescued just days before on Thursday May 24 by an Italian navy vessel and later transferred to the Aquarius. The new mother shared with MSF that she had spent one year in Libya where she says she was held captive, beaten, given very little food and extorted for money in order to be released.
She says she escaped with her partner and hundreds of others earlier this year and had since been hiding in a friend’s house in Libya, before undertaking the dangerous sea crossing. MSF nurse Aoife Ni Mhurchu said, “The situation in Libya is extremely dangerous for refugees and migrants, with very little access to medical care. If she had gone into labor just 48 hours beforehand, she would have given birth hiding on a beach in Libya, without any medical assistance.”
More than ever, today’s events and this mother’s story show just how much MSF’s presence is needed in the Mediterranean and NGO’s should not be obstructed or criminalized for performing lifesaving search and rescue operations.