In five months of operation, the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) saved over 8.800 lives in the Mediterranean. By spotting and monitoring distressed vessels, Schiebel’s Unmanned Air System CAMCOPTER® S-100 assisted in the rescue and contributed significantly to the success of the mission.
Thousands of refugees have tragically drowned while crossing the world’s deadliest border. Already back in 2014, MOAS and Schiebel rescued more than 2.800 men, women and children. This year in May the NGO´s Phoenix, a 40-meter long ship, on which the CAMCOPTER® S-100 is stationed, set sail again until the end of September 2015. Under the guidance and coordination of Rome’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre it was possible to save over 11.600 lives since the start of the operation in 2014.
The S-100 proved to be a huge asset during the operation as it can locate refugee boats by day and night, even in rough sea conditions and at long distance. The camera of the unmanned helicopter delivers daylight and infrared video in real time to the MOAS team. Due to the high quality of the footage, it is not only possible to locate a small ship even at miles away but also to identify whether it is a fishing boat or a ship in danger.
Operated by Schiebel staff and largely sponsored by Schiebel, the unmanned helicopter serves to considerably extend the reach of the vessel beyond horizon to increase the area of influence. “Schiebel has been supportive from the very beginning in 2014, helping MOAS to become the first civilian organization to use these high-tech helicopters for a great humanitarian purpose. Besides giving us a subsidized rate from the start, Schiebel has generously offered completely free use for the CAMCOPTER® S-100 in part of 2015,” said Martin Xuereb, the MOAS director.
MOAS has significantly reduced the death toll. Even after the end of this year’s Mediterranean mission, the NGO will continue to monitor the situation closely and plans to resume its operation next year. Schiebel has provided support since the start of the project and would be happy to join forces again to prevent deaths at sea whenever possible.