Crew members help a woman during a rescue operation on the Aquarius.
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ABOARD THE MS AQUARIUS, Italy: They are unlikely members of the same crew: Career seamen for whom it was initially just another job and landlubber humanitarian workers trying to make the world a better place. But together, aboard the MS Aquarius, they get the job done. Since it joined the international search and rescue operation off Libya in February, the boat chartered by medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initialism MSF, and French NGO SOS Mediterranee has safely delivered some 1,500 migrants to Italian ports.Dutch doctor Erna Rijnierse, who has been working with MSF for a decade, describes the work on the boat as a one-off.Going to the aid of stricken boats is a moral and legal obligation at sea but picking up migrants represents a headache for merchant ships with deliveries and collections to be made, and fears of infection by sick shipwreck survivors abound.
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