Migrants on a wooden boat are rescued by "Save the Children" NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast, June 18, 2017.
GENEVA, July 21 (MENA) - The charity SOS Mediterranean announced Sunday it would deploy a new vessel to "conduct search and rescue activities" off the coast of Libya.
The operation comes amid growing concerns for people attempting the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from the conflict-hit North African country.
The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, funded in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), is expected to arrive in the central Mediterranean at the end of the month. The 69-meter (226-foot) cargo ship has 31 crew members and can hold up to 200 migrants.
The charities reported there were almost no rescue vessels patrolling the Mediterranean, where at least 426 people have died so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
SOS Mediterranee said these migrants were attempting "to escape the escalating conflict in Libya and the deplorable conditions of Libyan detention centers."