Open Arms Uno vessel: new milestone for refugee rescue NGO

Boat with capacity for 1,000 refugees open for visits all weekend in Barcelona’s port

Open Arms Uno vessel, docked in Barcelona port, on May 27, 2022 (by Gerard Escaich Folch)
Open Arms Uno vessel, docked in Barcelona port, on May 27, 2022 (by Gerard Escaich Folch) / Gerard Escaich Folch

Gerard Escaich Folch | Barcelona

May 28, 2022 10:10 AM

Open Arms Uno is the new vessel of the refugee rescue NGO Open Arms. The boat docked in Barcelona port on Sunday 22, and it is open for visits all weekend, May 27 to 29

It has capacity for up to 1,000 rescued refugees and is awaiting for the last technical and legal touches to sail for its first mission. There will be a maximum of 31 Open Arms staff and volunteers on board. However, the final number has to be determined, as they have not done any mission yet.

The main deck thas a big white metal structure that will be covered and can shelter those rescued in the Mediterranean or around the world from sun and rain. 

The boat "can reach any part of the world," Òscar Camps, founder of NGO Proactiva Open Arms, said in a video published on Twitter.  

Two of the Open Arms staff, Albert and Laia, walked Catalan News around the boat on Friday. "We hope to sail in one month, one month and a half, maximum," Albert mentioned while showing the bridge of the ship to a small group of people.

One of the interesting facts are the "three propellers” of the boat, he added. Laia added that "the captain can control the boat from two different positions." 

Both of them toured around the Open Arms Uno, the new boat of the refugee rescue team. It’s the largest vessel they have so far, at 66 meters in length. The two previous are Astral, a sailing boat, an Open Arms, a smaller size vessel compared to the new one.

Since 2017, the Open Arms boat has sailed around the world several times saving around 7,300 refugees from the sea. 

The vessel is equipped with a hospital, an ICU unit, two different kitchens, one for staff and one for rescued refugees, and a helicopter area. "The helicopter will never land, as there is not enough space, but will be flying over while the medical team prepare the bed to be lifted," Albert explained. 

"There is a lift connecting this area, in the bow of the boat with the hospital," Laia added.

The boat is open for visits all weekend, it opened on Friday and people can visit it through Sunday between 9:30am to 2:30pm and from 5pm to 7:30pm in the Moll d’Espanya dock in Barcelona port.