The Red Cross is launching its first search and rescue ship on Monday in an effort to save the lives of people crossing the Mediterranean in search of refuge and safety in Europe.
The Responder will patrol the central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy, where most of the 3,100 drownings of migrants have happened this year.
The Italian Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) is partnering with independent charity Migrant Offshore Aid, (MOAS) in the joint mission.
"Too many, far too many children, women and men are drowning in the Mediterranean as they try to reach Europe," says Elhadj As Sy, IFRC Secretary General. "This vessel is a buoy of hope that will save lives and alleviate human suffering."
The Responder is expected to rescue at least 1,100 people every month.