Tourism Threatens Libyans’ Ocean Rescue
Posted on Apr 17, 2011
On Sunday thousands of locals and foreign workers in the Libyan coastal city of Misrata endured escalating attacks as pro-Gadhafi forces pummeled the area with rocket fire.
Salvation is uncertain and comes only by sea, as the Geneva-based humanitarian group International Organization for Migration speeds a leased car ferry back and forth across the Mediterranean in a race against both an advancing army and the looming travel plans of European vacationers. —ARK
In the end, the Ionian Spirit managed to board nearly 1,200 foreign workers. Left behind were several thousand more, clustered in makeshift camps, as well as Libyans desperate for a safe haven. Haslam says the International Organization for Migration needs money to continue these runs, and making several trips with fewer vessels is hardly ideal.
[...] Time is not on their side for another reason: Leased vessels like the Ionian Spirit are due back to their European runs soon — to handle Easter holiday traffic.
Abode of Chaos thierry ehrmann (CC-BY)