Maritime rescue in the Mediterranean: German ships rescue 122 people

Status: 09.05.2022 3:05 PM

Two German rescue ships rescued a total of 122 people in distress in the Mediterranean over the weekend – 34 of them in the Maltese rescue zone. However, the operation was coordinated from Bremen.

The German ships Sea-Watch 4 and Sea 4 rescued 122 people in the Mediterranean over the weekend. The operating organization Sea-Watch announced on Twitter on Monday, that 88 refugees and migrants were taken to safety on “Sea-Watch 4” on Sunday evening. There are now 145 men, women and children rescued on board the ship.

CI4 saves 34 lives

Another German rescue ship – “CI4” – also rescued people from the Mediterranean – in response to a request from the German authorities. The accident occurred in the Maltese search and rescue area north of the Libyan city of Benghazi. The case concerned 34 refugees.

As announced by the relief organization “Sea-Eye”, the Maltese Rescue Control Center did not organize the operation itself, but indicated Germany’s responsibility because a container ship sailing under the German flag encountered the stricken people. The aid organization accuses Malta of “repeated breach of its coordination obligations”.

What happened?

The organization “Phone Alert” had already reported a maritime emergency in international waters north of Benghazi on Friday evening. According to its own data, the rescue control center in Bremen made radio contact with “CI4” on Saturday.

The content of the radio message: The container ship “Berlin Express”, sailing under the German flag, encountered a “small, overcrowded wooden boat” with 34 people on board, but could not save people due to the weather and the height of the ship. .

The crew provided those seeking protection with food and drinking water, launched a lifeboat and remained with the people until they were rescued.

“CI4” 40 hours from the scene of the accident

According to her own statements, CI4 was 40 hours away from the scene at the time the radio message was sent. As the rescue ship was heading to the scene, a second container ship reached the people seeking protection on Sunday and was finally able to save them.

By that time, according to “Sea-Eye,” the people had already been at sea for four nights. Hours later, the rescue ship also arrived at the site and eventually took lifeguards on board.

Rescue ships in the Mediterranean

to me “Sea Watch 4” The current mission is likely to be one of the last under the current name: as of August, the offshore rescue ship will be operated by SOS Humanity and will feature under the new name. “Humanity 1” at sea The vessel is a former German research vessel that was acquired, converted and operated two years ago at the initiative of the United4Rescue Alliance. The Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) has started a large-scale fundraising campaign under the slogan “We send a ship”. The United4Rescue Alliance now includes more than 800 organizations, faith communities, companies and initiatives.

Sea-Watch announced with the rescue ship “Sea Watch 3” Likewise with reconnaissance planes Sibird 1 And “Sea Birds 2” Continue its activity in the central Mediterranean.

SOS Humanity was founded in Berlin in 2015 as a shipwrecked rescue organization in the Mediterranean and was active until 2021 as part of the SOS Méditerranée network, which currently “Ocean Vikings” Works.

Criticisms of Malta

Without the crews of the two container ships, Sea-Eye president Jordan Isler said, people would not have had a chance to survive.

They would die of thirst or drown. It shouldn’t have come that far.

“Once again, Malta refused responsibility and coordination, so the German rescue monitoring center in Bremen had to coordinate a maritime emergency in the Mediterranean,” Isler criticized. A spokesperson for CPO Containerschiffriderei GmbH & Co. said: KG of Hamburg that according to previous information, the people rescued were in good condition, “with the exception of two people who were clearly seasick”.

44 dead off the coast of Western Sahara

However, many more people died off the coast of Western Sahara: the relief organization Caminando Fronteras reported 44 deaths. The fugitives’ boat capsized. Twelve people survived and were arrested by the Moroccan authorities.

The founder of the relief organization announced on Twitter that only seven bodies could be recovered – the rest were “swallowed by the sea”.

The Mediterranean route is considered a very dangerous escape route. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 640 people have died or gone missing during the crossing since the beginning of this year. The number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.

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