March 26, 2015

Couple Pours Millions Into Saving Migrants on Mediterranean

A wealthy businessman from Louisiana who now lives on the Mediterranean island of Malta is putting millions of dollars into an effort to safeguard the lives of African and Middle Eastern migrants making the risky sea crossing to seek a new life in Europe, NPR writes. Christopher Catrambone and his Italian wife, Regina, invested $8 million to buy, outfit, and crew a rescue boat as part of a charity they established last year, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station.

About 218,000 people made the crossing in 2014, many in rickety, overcrowded wooden boats and dinghies, with some 3,500 drowning en route. Mr. Catrambone said the numbers are likely to rise as the conflicts in Syria and Libya persist and no European country maintains a search-and-rescue operation fully dedicated to saving migrants at sea. "We're the only game in town at the moment," he said.