Marine engineering giant Jan de Nul extended the hand of rescue to a small boat of Syrian refugees drifting in the Mediterranean 75km off the Algerian coast last week.

Crew on board the rock installation Simon Stevin were alerted by the small craft, whose engine had broken down and which had been drifting for several days, Jan de Nul said. Two women, five children and eight men were on the sloop and had come from Syria, press contact Heleen Schellinck said. They were all in good health apart from being cold and weak, she said.

Jan de Nul to the rescue at sea

Jan de Nul to the rescue at sea

“The refugees were recovered from their small craft into the rescue boat of our Simon Stevin, after which they approached the vessel to board,” she said.

They were given food, blankets and warm clothing and spent the night on the installation vessel before being taken to the harbour of Oran, where the Algerian coastguard took over. 

Simon Stevin had been working at the Sakaryha gas field in the Black Sea, which is 100% owned by Turkey and which is expected to meet about 30% of domestic natural gas demand, with first production beginning in the first quarter of next year. The vessel was returning to Belgium when it made the rescue.