US, Moroccan navies rescue 103 migrants off African coast

The Las Palmas Rescue Coordination Center, based in the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, received reports of the two migrant rafts and informed nearby Navy ships.

Three U.S. Coast Guard ships and a Royal Moroccan Navy frigate rushed to the reported location of the rafts, rescuing a total of 103 migrants, said the Navy’s Sixth Fleet, which operates in Europe and Africa. Photos of the rescue provided by the Navy show inflatable white rafts, with many migrants straddling the side of the raft because they are so overcrowded.

All the migrants were transferred to the Moroccan navy once out of the water and stabilized. Two deceased migrants were also pulled from the water.

Coast Guard ships were routinely deployed to the area when they were dispatched to the maritime rescue.

“The United States Coast Guard will always conduct our primary search and rescue mission and respect international law of the sea and maritime customs to assist mariners in distress,” said Cmdr. Justin Nadolny, commander of US Coast Guard Thetis. The Thetis is one of three Cutters who responded, along with the Glen Harris and the Emlen Tunnell.

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