Over the past year, Arms Around The Chid has sent donations to support the Proactiva Open Arms project to save the lives of refugees in the Mediterranean.
This is a great cause begun by Spanish life guards who gave up everything to work off the coast of Lesbos, initially they were working on jet skis but have now raised enough to get this boat and save more lives.
Today Proactiva Open Arms proudly tell their supporters that finally, their new boat Open Arms is ready to set sail in the Central Mediterranean. Ready to save more lives, and to help them continue to keep their promise.
Thanks to Open Arms, we’ll be able to carry out the humanitarian aid and coastguard work necessary during the summer and following months.
The steel tug boat, measuring 37 m in length, was built in 1974 and was donated by the Ibaizabal Group. After a long, top-level career behind it as part of the fleet of the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency, the boat will be given a second lease of life and will serve our mission to ensure: no more lives adrift.
They worked really hard to get the Open Arms ready for sea but, most of all, organisations like Arms Around the Child helped them a lot. The electrical system and the electronics have been upgraded to enable the boat to navigate in the high seas (zone A3). The boat has also been equipped with toilets, a dining area, cabins and an infirmary to accommodate six staff and the volunteers necessary to man two fast, rescue launch boats. The floors, ceilings, lighting and kitchen have also been given a makeover to improve on-board living conditions. A deck area of 100 m2 has been adapted to accommodate up to a maximum of 400 people, though we hope this won’t be necessary.
It’s been a year already since they began their mission in the Mediterranean. It’s not an anniversary that we wish to celebrate. They’d like to be able to celebrate that, finally, the official quarters have implemented measures, no longer leave these lives at the mercy of the sea. But this is currently not the case. And, although they can cite figures such as the 20,000 lives they’ve already saved in the Mediterranean, there’s another figure that nobody wants to see, which is the number of people who lost their dream along the way.
On World Refugee Day 2017, they reaffirm their commitment to protecting human rights at sea with all their resources so that there are no more lives adrift.
And they want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting in them and for helping them to make this possible.
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