Iceland refugee ship returns home

Týr back in Iceland after six months in the Mediterranean.

Týr back in Iceland after six months in the Mediterranean. Photo: Eggert

The Icelandic Coast Guard ship Týr docked in Reykjavik yesterday after six months patrolling the Mediterranean. It that time, the crew saved over 2,000 refugees making the journey from Africa to Europe.

Týr was on mission on behalf of Frontex, the European Union (EU) agency that manages cooperation between national coast guards to secure the external borders of the Union. It was assisting the Italian coast guard in dealing with the rapidly increasing influx of African refugees.

According to Director of the Icelandic Coast Guard, Georg K. Lárusson, this project has been going on for five years. “Iceland is part of the Schengen Area and we take part in patrolling the EU’s borders,” explains Lárusson. “It is a pleasing thought that this forty-year ship has saved more people in the last five years than in the previous 35 years in Iceland.”

Rannveig Hreinsdóttir is a member of the Týr crew. “It is wonderful to have been a part of this,” she says, in reference to operations to save refugees making the journey from Africa to Europe. “What is going on there is a real tragedy. There are even pregnant women and small children involved. You realise how good we have it in Iceland once you have been there.”

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