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Volunteer chefs wanted for migrant rescue boat in Mediterranean

Posted on 8th April 2015 at 19:37pm

WANTED: Great chefs to brave the Mediterranean waters in exchange for an extraordinary life-saving adventure. Involves long hours of preparation as well as ad-hoc search and rescue duties. Position is voluntary but honour and recognition will follow in the event of success.

Search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is looking for volunteer chefs for the 2015 mission starting in May. This voluntary placement includes cooking for hardworking crew and hundreds of rescued migrants. Those chosen will form part of an international team of 20 crew members working on board a 40-metre vessel, the Phoenix, as part of MOAS.

MOAS last year helped save 3,000 migrants during its 60-day mission in the central Mediterranean Sea. The NGO is now preparing to resume its search and rescue operation between May and October.

Simon Templer, last year’s MOAS chef, remembers cooking food for 300 starving and dehydrated migrants in a scorching small boat kitchen. “Once we had to rescue two migrant boats at one go and I had to feed 300 people. I prepared big pots of pasta and rice in tomato sauce and had to ensure it was kept warm by the time everybody was served,” he says.

“I’ve cooked on boats before but it was nothing compared to what I’ve experienced with MOAS. It was hard, exciting and even overwhelming at times, seeing all those children being taken on board,” Templar adds.

The next chefs need to be fully conversant in English and comfortable working at sea for a minimum of two weeks.

“Chefs interested in joining MOAS should definitely have a strong sense of adventure. They must be open to new experiences and have a hands-on approach. Since the team is so dynamic, one must also be very flexible to cater for different people and their different dietary needs. Being a chef on board the Phoenix isn’t just about cooking. It was all about making everyone feel at home as much as possible,” according to Templer.

MOAS will support its volunteer chefs with insurance, return airfare and a first aid and STCW 95 training (if required). The NGO is looking for persons who are healthy, non-drug users and comfortable living with a documentary film-maker onboard the Phoenix.

Volunteers available to participate in MOAS first operation this summer must be available to report for duty in the European island of Malta on Friday 24th April. Applicants should write to

To keep up to date with the latest news, follow MOAS on twitter @moas_eu and use the hashtag #MOAS to enter discussions about migration.

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