MOAS returns to sea to save lives in partnership with the NGO Sea-eye

News and Press Release
Originally published

The two organisations will launch joint Search and Rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean on board of the new vessel Sea-Eye 4

Valletta, Regensburg, Rome

MOAS, the very first NGO to operate in the Mediterranean, starting in 2014, announces its return to the Central Mediterranean, alongside its new partner Sea-Eye, to conduct Search and Rescue (SAR) operations that will save lives at sea and raise awareness for the ongoing tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep.

MOAS will be operating on board of the new rescue ship Sea-Eye 4, and will be providing personnel, resources, strategic input and expertise.

The Sea-Eye 4 is a former offshore supply-vessel (built in 1972, 55 m long, 11 m wide) which is currently being converted into a SAR ship and will be able to accommodate and supply significantly more people than the previous Sea-Eye ships.

The joint MOAS/Sea-Eye mission is planned to launch in February 2021 with operational plans being developed over the coming weeks.

In 2020, over 700 people have lost their lives at sea (according to IOM data), for this reason, MOAS and Sea-Eye have decided to join forces and save as many lives as possible.

This year the Covid-19 pandemic has caused further deterioration of the migration routes, with many countries closing their borders and refusing to allow disembarkation of the people rescued at sea.

Although we cannot put an end to the instability and ongoing conflicts which force people to leave their countries, we do have a chance to reduce the number of deaths at sea by providing assistance to those who, in their desperation, continue to attempt the Mediterranean crossing.

MOAS has also launched a fundraising campaign to support the operations and is calling on civil society to show solidarity with those attempting this deadly crossing and demonstrate that we are not indifferent to the suffering of others.

The link to make a donation is: Regina Catrambone, MOAS Director, stated: “We firmly believe that nobody deserves to die at sea in search of safety, that’s why we founded MOAS in 2013: to save lives. We are very happy about this partnership with Sea-Eye, to share our knowledge and expertise on SAR operations.

Between 2014 and 2017, with our missions in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, MOAS rescued more than 40,000 people. Now, together with our partners, we want to rescue as many people at risk as possible.

Civil society strongly believes that the implementation of #SafeAndLegalRoutes of migration is important to avoid further deaths at sea”.

Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V., said: “We are proud to bring the MOAS sea rescuers back into action on our ship. This is a milestone for Sea-Eye. Our operational cooperation has one main goal: to save more lives together. Between 2016 and 2017 Sea-Eye and MOAS crews met in rescue operations in international waters. Now we are working together on the SEA-EYE 4”.

For additional images:


Moas: Francesca Pierpaoli PR & Communications Officer Tel. +356 79900097 Email:

Sea Eye: Sophie Weidenhiller Spokeswoman (Southern and Eastern Europe)
Mobile: +43 664 2276 299 Email: _____________________________________________________________ About MOAS

MOAS is an international humanitarian organization founded by the Catrambone family in 2013 and dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance and services to the most vulnerable communities around the world. Since its inception, MOAS has reached hundreds of thousands of people through its activities. After several Search and Rescue missions in the Mediterranean Aegean and Andaman seas, MOAS expanded its operations to Bangladesh, to assist Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar and the local host community. Today MOAS is currently also involved in several missions in Yemen and Somalia assisting the most vulnerable communities by delivering nutritional and medical aid. MOAS also operate in Malta with various projects to assist migrant communities. With the #SafeAndLegalRoutes campaign, MOAS is advocating to governments and international institutions to fight exploitative and dangerous migration routes and human trafficking by increasing safe and legal pathways of migration that exist on paper but are not sufficiently supported practice to allow the most vulnerable people to safely reach the countries of destination. MOAS has consultative status of ECOSOC and is member of the Malta Refugee Council.

About Sea-Eye e. V.

The organisation Sea-Eye e. V. was founded in Regensburg in 2015. In the first years of the organisation, the volunteer crews saved the lives of several thousand people with the modified fishing cutters SEA-EYE and SEEFUCHS. In the summer of 2018 the association decided to send a new ship under German flag into operation. The ALAN KURDI was the first ship of an aid organisation in the central Mediterranean under the German flag. In total, more than 1.000 volunteer crew members took part in over 70 missions to rescue 15.189 people.