Swedish ship in new migrant rescue mission

Swedish ship in new migrant rescue mission
Migrants aboard the rescue ship Poseidon on an earlier rescue mission in June. Photo: AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi/TT
The Swedish rescue ship Poseidon has helped another hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, said the coast guard.

On Sunday Poseidon rescued a total of 321 migrants off the coast of Libya. The migrants who were picked up by the ship told the crew that they had been on rubber rafts for about eight hours. They included several children.

The ship arrived in the Mediterranean in June as part of operation Triton, the EU's border rescue operation.

In an interview with Swedish Radio ahead of the mission, commander Peo Allard said that the Swedes on board Poseidon had never undertaken a task quite like this one, which had involved both specific training and mental preparation.

“They received information on why people are driven to flee,” he said.

“The most difficult challenge will be meeting these overcrowded boats,” he added. “It’s a completely new kind of assignment for us, but something I have no doubt we can manage.”

The Poseidon is kitted out with special equipment in order to take on a large number of migrants. The ship has portable toilets and private rooms for women and children. Sails have been put up to create shade for protection from the heat.

The ship has brought a total of 3,966 people safely to Italy since it launched.

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