(04 May 2016) – Sophie Beau, a humanitarian worker, and Klaus Vogel, a merchant navy captain, chartered the “Aquarius”, which after two months in the Mediterranean has rescued 917 men, women and children who were otherwise destined to drown.
A year after its establishment, the SOS-Méditerranée association has proven to be a credible rescue operator, taking its place alongside the military and the Italian coast guard.
The Aquarius’s first campaign confirmed the belief of its small team of backers that civil society wants to help save lives. “We are 98% funded by private donations. People joined our project very quickly and we raised €100 000 in five days on the Ulule crowdfunding platform,” explains Jean Karinthi, who is in charge of fundraising.
The association raises funds through the Internet but would also like to create a movement around it initiative. In Marseille, Paris and Rennes, groups have been created to support the project and involve citizens in these rescue efforts. SOS-Méditerranée intends to develop this aspect during a campaign it is now launching. (Le Monde)