The crew of Istanbul-based Besiktas Shipping-owned chemical/oil tanker Mostar saved 69 refugees, who had left with a boat from Libya for Italy and had been in danger near Malta.

The ship Mostar, built in 2007, was en route to La Skhirra port on September 23, when it received an urgent instruction via satellite phone from the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Center (MRCC), to participate in a search and rescue operation located 80 miles southeast of Malta.

The boat was carrying 69 refugees from Libya to Italy, and the tanker’s captain, Ömer Tütüncü, described the scene as nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.

Among the 69 individuals on the boat there were 2 children, 2 women, and 1 elderly person. They all had wet clothes and lacked shoes, resulting in their feet becoming swollen from exposure to seawater. Immediately after being taken on board inside a warm area, their overall health was assessed, and they were provided with food, water, dry clothing, socks, and shoes.

As the shipowner Besiktas explains, inside Augusta Breakwater in Italy on September 24, the coast guard arrived to transfer the refugees to safety.

Besiktas Shipping said that “We are immensely relieved and grateful for this successful rescue operation, where our master and his crew honourably fulfilled their duty at sea, by showing an example of good seamanship, and proofing the values and empathy they embody. We are proud and appreciative of their efforts.”