Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement undertakes three mass rescues of migrants off the Libyan coast in the summer and autumn of 2014.
– On 31st August 2014 and whilst the product tanker M/T Proteas was en route laden from Sidi Kerir terminal in Egypt to Augusta, Italy, the Master, Cpt Panagiotis Mellos, received instructions from the Maritime Rescue Co-Orrdination Centre (MRCC) in Rome to deviate to a position about 96 kms (60 miles) off the Libyan port of Marsa Susa (Apollonia) to pick up immigrants from a boat reported to be in distress.
All 221 immigrants, including women and children, were safely picked up and reported to be in apparent good health without injuries. Full assistance was extended to the rescued people and the ship resumed its voyage to Augusta, where the immigrants were disembarked.
– On 02 October 2014 at 22:30 local time whilst MT ARION of Liberia Flag, DWT 39.378 was en route to Augusta, Italy, in ballast condition, Master, Capt Ronnie A. Awa, received instructions from IMRCC Rome to deviate to a position of about 90 miles north off Libya Benghazi, to pick up immigrants from a boat reported to be in distress.
The vessel arrived at the above position at about 00:36 local time on 03 October 2014 and picked up safely 167 immigrants, including women and children. They were all reported in apparent good health.
The Master and the 22 crew members extended their fullest assistance and care to the immigrants and provided food and water and other necessities. No emergency medical assistance was necessary.
The vessel arrived at her destination (Augusta) on 04 October 2014 and on the same day at 17:00 local time all immigrants were safely disembarked.
– On 14th November 2014, the Greek Tanker Byzantion carried out, within a few hours, two rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan coast, rescuing a total of 230 (141 on the first and 89 on the second case) immigrants whose lives were at risk.
The 37,275 dwt Product Tanker, Byzantion, with a 24-member crew, while en route from La Skhirra/Tunisia to Elefsis/Greece, was contacted by the Rome Maritime Rescue Co-ordination (MRCC) and was informed that two small boats were in danger off the Libyan coast. The ship sailed directly to the two locations and safely picked up a total of 230 immigrants, all reported in apparent good health.
The Master and the crew members extended their fullest assistance and care to the immigrants and provided food and water and other necessities. No emergency medical assistance was necessary. M/T Byzantion then proceeded to Messina, Italy where all the immigrants were safely disembarked on 15 November 2014.
Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement wishes to extend our warmest congratulations to the Masters, their officers and crew for their personal dedication and professionalism in rendering assistance to people in distress.
Moreover TCM extends a warm congratulations to the Crews on board for offering excellent hospitality to the 618 refuges on board by providing food and welfare to all onboard, without any deviation of safety and hygiene rules under adverse circumstances.