Campaign Save the Fleet
Advertiser Humanitarian Maritime Rescue (HMR)
Brand Humanitarian Maritime Rescue

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RESCUESHIP: When a game saves lives in the Mediterranean


Salvamento Maritimoi Humanitario (SMH) has carried out a rescue operation in the central Mediterranean, saving 43 people in an SAR Libya zone. But this is not only a story of bravery and courage, but also of creativity and social commitment.

The first mission of Aita Mari 2024, the HMR rescue boat, has been carried out thanks to the fundraising that the association has achieved through the "Save the Fleet" campaign, through the Goteo platform, in which more than 40,000€ have been obtained in its crowdfunding.

At a critical moment for the non-profit organization, pressed by economic difficulties and the high costs of carrying out any rescue operation, Humanitarian Maritime Rescue has carried out the awareness-raising action called "Save the Fleet." Created and produced altruistically by Ogilvy Madrid, this initiative aims to raise awareness about the reality of migratory movements, forced displacements generated by armed conflicts, persecution, extreme poverty, and other factors.

Save lives instead of sinking them

"Save the Fleet" is the antithesis of the popular game of "Battleship," as it seeks to save lives instead of sinking them. HMR has created a solidarity game with the same name, in which each move is decisive to save the maximum number of lives possible. Donations obtained from the game are used to support the work of HMR, and depending on the amount donated, the person can obtain the game as a gift.
Through the game, HMR reiterates its commitment to defending human rights and aiding migrant people on maritime routes. In this sense, Iñigo Mijangos, coordinator of Humanitarian Maritime Rescue (HMR), affirms that "we are at a critical moment, a new stage that involves facing the challenges inherent in a European migration pact where there is no room for human rights. We need to renew and expand the momentum that society has always given us to continue defending that the values of European solidarity and humanity must also be present in our borders". 

Four days of navigation

The rescued people in the SAR Libya area come from countries such as Egypt, Sudan, and Bangladesh. However, in an adverse context with waves of more than one meter, the non-profit organization has been able to save them. Despite the extreme fatigue and dehydration, they presented, the general health of the rescued people is not serious.

The Aita Mari boat arrived on Tuesday at the port of Ortona in the province of Chieti after four days of navigation. Once arrived at port, the landing was uncomplicated and agile. The 43 rescued people have been handed over to local authorities and border administrative processes will begin. In most cases, they receive an expulsion order, that is, they are not offered international protection.

In the first month of 2024, it is estimated that more than 100 people have died or disappeared in the Central Mediterranean according to the IOM. From HMR, they demand that European authorities take responsibility for maintaining a rescue device in this area instead of financing with public money the containment of people in countries where human rights are violated. Additionally, a call is made to social consciousness about the seriousness of the situation in the Mediterranean and the need to create humanitarian corridors that allow safe migration.

Save as many lives as possible

HMR's mission as an NGO is to safeguard and care for the life, dignity, and rights of people in transit. With this action, they seek to highlight the non-compliance with human rights that we witness. That is why the concept of "Save the fleet" makes more sense than ever.

Beyond the campaign, the association wanted to create a game that shows the work of their work. The game, with the same name as the campaign, focuses on saving the maximum number of lives possible, as if it were a maritime rescue team. Each move is decisive and the game ends when one of the players manages to board the "Aita Mari," their rescue boat, to all the shipwrecked people. This is a solidarity game whose donations are used to support HMR's work, as depending on the donation made, the person can get the "Save the Fleet" game as a gift.

Ogilvy Madrid, committed to giving visibility to HMR

For their part, Sandra Sánchez and Sonia Herraez, creatives from Ogilvy Madrid, affirm that "the 'Save the fleet' game was born with the intention of giving voice to the humanitarian aid work carried out by the NGO HMR in the Mediterranean. This type of organization ventures blindly into the sea every day in search of shipwrecked people and we couldn't help but see a similarity between this reality and the mechanics of the mythical game of sinking ships. More than 2,600 migrants die each year in the Mediterranean waters, so we decided to turn the dynamic around and launch a solidarity Christmas game that would help raise funds to prevent more deaths."
With this action, the organization will be able to obtain more resources to save lives and will gain visibility to demand that European authorities adopt effective measures that guarantee the human rights of all migrant people. 

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