Safety precautions of the highest level are taken in the event of a corona outbreak on board
- Sea-Eye ship ready to rescue again after several weeks of shipyard break
- ALAN KURDI will be the only rescue ship in the area
- Crew of the “Sea-Watch 4” carries out final repairs
- new safety precautions in case of a corona outbreak
After an eight-week break, the German rescue ship ALAN KURDI is now back in service. More than 60 volunteers prepared the ALAN KURDI for 2020. On Monday afternoon, the Spanish authorities gave the green light to cast off. In the meantime, the crew of German captain Bärbel Beuse and the Austrian head of mission Stefan Schütz have reached international waters.
“Despite all the difficulties, my crew showed up, trained and is ready for action. How could we stay in port now when not a single rescue vessel is currently present? As human beings, it is our duty to do everything reasonable to save other people’s lives ”, says Bärbel Beuse, captain of ALAN KURDI.
It’s the second time Beuse is commanding a rescue mission aboard ALAN KURDI.
“Sea-Eye was founded to save people from drowning. Every single life is of immeasurable value. No human life is dispensable or less valuable. That is why the ALAN KURDI is on its way to action”, explains Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V., regarding the mission during the corona crisis.
The sea rescuers are facing great difficulties when it comes to getting assigned a safe harbor, should they have to conduct rescue operations.
“Even in this crisis, we rely on the responsibility and courageous political action of our flag state. We are in close contact with the German authorities”, continues Isler.
Due to the corona crisis, the operational management of the association has taken further security precautions and established an “outbreak management plan”.
“German high sea vessels have the highest security requirements anyway. In addition, we have sufficient personal protective equipment for our crew on board”, says Jan Ribbeck, mission manager.
The ALAN KURDI is expected to reach the Libyan search and rescue zone this weekend.
Due to the Corona crisis, no civil sea rescue organization has been able to send a rescue ship to the central Mediterranean for weeks. Travel restrictions have severely affected the arrival and departure of crew members. The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently reported that hundreds of refugees were prevented from fleeing the ongoing civil war by the so-called Libyan coast guard. How many people vanished at sea unnoticed in recent weeks is unknown.
“It is a miracle that we were able to put together a crew, train them and prepare them for the special circumstances”, says Isler.
Due to the Corona crisis, repairs on ALAN KURDI could not be completed on schedule. Many shipyard workers had to return to their families early. Most recently, the crew members of the new rescue ship “Sea-Watch 4” helped to complete the repairs. The “Sea-Watch 4” is also being prepared for its first rescue operation in Burriana. The ALAN KURDI is currently the only rescue ship that is on its way to the Libyan search and rescue zone.