Italy restricts German rescue ship | outside

The Italian authorities temporarily tied up the German rescue ship Louise Michel in the port of Lampedusa. This happened after the crew landed 180 migrants on four rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea.

On Sunday, Italy’s coast guard announced that it had seized the ship because the crew had violated a new Italian government law. This law says that after the initial rescue mission, the ship must immediately dock at a designated port and not perform additional rescue operations.

According to the coast guard, the crew was assigned to the port of Trapani, west of Sicily, after an initial rescue operation off the Libyan coast. The ship did not dock there and initially carried out three more rescues.


Aid organization Louise Michel described the government’s action as “unacceptable”. The organization indicated that it is prohibited from carrying out the necessary rescue operations at sea. The NGO also said dozens of other boats carrying people in distress were experiencing problems. The organization said on Twitter that the ship had been held for several hours without a written statement.

The Italian government says the NGO deployment of rescue ships encourages migrants to cross. This would help people smugglers with extra income. Critics point out that NGO ships pick up only a small percentage of people who want to reach the EU via Italian coasts.

Denton Watson

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