The Dutch offshore installation firm Van Oord said Thursday that its Nexus cable layer had this week rescued 49 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
"The cable-laying vessel was contacted by the Malta Rescue Coordination Center to give support, in the worsening weather conditions of the night of 16-17 November," Van Oord said.
"It is unknown for how many days the refugees - all men - were on a sea journey. Their origin is also unknown, due to language barriers. All 49 refugees appear to be in good health but weakened, and some were hypothermic. The Nexus crew provided them with food and warm drinks and a safe location on deck," Van OOrd added.
The Nexus - with 27 crew members - is now on its way to Malta, where a transfer to the Maltese coastguard is planned, in the evening of November 17, Van Oord said Thursday.
This is the second time this week that an offshore installation company has informed of its vessel being involved in a refugee rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea.
Jan De Nul, a company that provides offshore installation services,said on Wednesday that it had recently saved 15 people who were lost on a sloop in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Algeria.
"During a sea journey from Turkey to Belgium, Jan De Nul crew on board the offshore installation vessel Simon Stevin noticed a sloop with 15 refugees on Thursday evening, November 10. Eight men, two women, and five children had been drifting for several days on the Mediterranean Sea, some 75 km off the coast of Algeria," Jan De Nul said.