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Schiebel Camcopter S-100 helped to save more than 2800 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea

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As part of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) operation Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS (Unmanned Air System) helped to save the lives of over 2800 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea during several missions.

Between August and October 2014 the expedition vessel Phoenix, carrying the CAMCOPTER® S-100 on board, conducted three operations in the central Mediterranean Sea, each lasting two to three weeks.

The final mission of this season was successfully completed on 31st October, saving the life of 331 refugees. MOAS took the migrants on board, where medical staff provided first aid, blankets, food and water. After that all migrants have been handed over to the Italian Authorities. Since it began operating, MOAS – with the help of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS – has located and rescued 2851 migrants from distressed boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

MOAS is a private NGO initiative to save lives in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world’s deadliest border crossings. Its aim is to provide assistance at sea in co-ordination with the Rescue Coordination Centres in the region. A ship-borne aid station, named Phoenix, was made available to support refugee vessels in need.

Phoenix has two 6-metre rigid inflatable boats on board that respond to calls for assistance. The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is launched from on board the ship to locate and identify boats in distress. The UAS then provides imagery in real-time, day and night and even under adverse weather conditions. Operated by Schiebel personnel, the EO/IR camera submits essential data to locate people in need. With the help of the unmanned helicopter the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) can be informed and provide help immediately.

The mission radius was implemented in a strategic geographic location on the central Mediterranean route, affected by migratory flows departing from the Southern Mediterranean littoral.

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