The vessel sent by the Norwegian government to help rescue refugees adrift on the Mediterranean rescued more than 750 people during its first mission on Monday.
The Siem Pilot, normally used as a supply ship for the offshore industry, was called at 8am to take part in a rescue operation involving refugees crammed on board two troubled vessels from Libya. They found two small wooden boats full of migrants from North Africa.
“Around 400 people were lifted off the first boat, and around 200 from the other boat,” Ida Dahl Nilssen of state police unit Kripos told newspaper Aftenposten. Later Monday evening, the Norwegian ship was asked to also take on 100 people from another vessel.
Nilssen said none of the refugees was seriously ill. Several of the women were pregnant. All were taken to a refugee center in Italy.