UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, German partner of UNHCR

German national partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) contributes to on-board hospital financing

Sea-Eye is in the largest project in its history and is now receiving support from the UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, German partner of UNHCR. In September Sea-Eye signed the purchase agreement for its new rescue ship. The ship, which will be named GHALIB KURDI, is currently being converted for rescue purposes in the Mediterranean. Equipping a rescue ship of this size is a considerable task, for which the UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe is now supporting Sea-Eye with a grant of € 25,000.

With this contribution, UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe will help to set up and equip the GHALIB KURDI on-board hospital. In the event of an emergency, the rescued people urgently need medical care, because most of them sustained injuries, fell ill or suffered torture while fleeing. Pregnant women also venture the dangerous route across the Mediterranean in search of a safe place for their unborn child and need special care. The new on-board medical station will ensure the primary treatment of the rescued people and will also be prepared for possible corona cases on board.

We are very grateful to the UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe for supporting the financing of this important project and will soon introduce a new medical cooperation partner with whom we want to face the growing challenges together,“ says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V.

Any discussion about whether people should be rescued from distress at sea is inadmissible. This is a self-evident necessity and our humanitarian obligation. The Sea-Eye team is providing this invaluable vital aid,“ says Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer, Managing Director of the UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, German partner of UNHCR.

Sea Eye’s new vessel GHALIB KURDI is currently being converted into a rescue ship and will support the future operations of ALAN KURDI in the Mediterranean. Sea-Eye intends to introduce GHALIB KURDI and the new partner organisations in November.

ALAN KURDI in port

Sea-Eye asks the German Foreign Office for diplomatic support

  • ALAN KURDI detained in Olbia
  • Italy’s illegitimate repression of German sea rescue organisation
  • Sea-Eye asks German Foreign Office for help

On Friday evening, the Italian coast guard detained the ALAN KURDI for the second time this year after an eight-hour port state control. Spanish and German authorities had previously certified the ship as ready for operation after a several-week break in the shipyard.

Captain Joachim Ebeling speaks of “salami tactics” and goes on to say: “If you were really concerned about the safety of the people we rescued, you would not spend hours on end looking for ways to detain us at every opportunity.”

This detention puts all the other missions of this year at risk. Sea-Eye intends to file an immediate appeal against the detention.

It is unacceptable that Italy questions the German and Spanish authorities’ ability to judge the safety on board the ALAN KURDI. This is absurd and unmasking. The arrests of German rescue vessels are purely politically motivated,” says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye.

ALAN KURDI with German flag

Italy’s illegitimate repression of German sea rescue organisation

Although the Italian government has withdrawn Salvini’s draconian punishments against sea rescue organisation, they have not been abolished. Instead, Italy is currently stopping three German rescue ships and one Norwegian ship from continuing rescue operations. In Italy’s statement on the detention, the coast guard again complains that more people were on board than allowed.

The Italian coastguard described the purpose of the ALAN KURDI in June as a kind of “service for migrants at sea“, refused to coordinate the last maritime emergencies in September, and ignored the legal requirement for cooperation between rescue centres.

Italy makes it clear that it no longer regards the saved persons as persons rescued from distress at sea, but as passengers.”

— Gorden Isler —

What we see here is the official implementation of a right-wing populist narrative with concrete measures, aimed in particular at transporting people and simply ignoring the maritime emergency beforehand. This is particularly grotesque because until two years ago Italy herself was still rescuing people from such boats off Libya,” Isler continues.

Sea-Eye asks German Foreign Office for help

On Friday evening, Sea-Eye formally asked the German Foreign Office and the German Foreign Minister for support. After all, the detention of the ALAN KURDI, SEA-WATCH 3 and SEA-WATCH 4 not only openly calls into question the rights of German aid organisations. The rights of the flag state to equip its ships with safety certificates are also affected here. However, the protests of the German Ministry of Transport to the Italian colleagues have so far remained fruitless.

We are being held for political reasons. We are therefore asking the Foreign Office to try to find a diplomatic solution. After all, it is a matter of people’s survival,” says Isler.

According to the IOM, 675 people have drowned in the Mediterranean in 2020 so far. ALAN KURDI was able to save more than 300 lives this year.

We could have saved many more people. Without the blockades of the rescue ships, the number of victims would certainly have been lower,” continues Isler.

— Gorden Isler —
so-called Libyan coast guard

On September 19, ALAN KURDI observed how refugees were forcibly returned to Libya. They are now faced with imprisonment, torture and forced disappearance. The EU fully supports these forced push-backs by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard.

Rescued people with blankets in Olbia

An article by Stefano Lotumolo on the arrival of ALAN KURDI in Olbia

We learn about the news of ALAN KURDI’s landing from Facebook on Thursday evening (24/09/2020). We read many racist comments under the post reporting the news.

I look at my girlfriend and say, “Okay, we can’t miss it.

We wake up at 5:30 a.m., ALAN KURDI’s arrival is scheduled for 6:00 a.m. The weather is bad, which is the reason why ALAN KURDI is not continuing its course to Marseille and is allowed to dock in Olbia.

Around 9 o’clock a miserable bunch of Lega supporters and neo fascists arrives.

The ALAN KURDI docks at 10:00 am.

Take them to your home” they are yelling at us, with their arrogant and intolerant attitude.

They do their show for the ritual photos; Showing off is the only thing that matters to them.

They want to protect the Italian borders from 125 people seeking protection who are fleeing from war, fished out by ALAN KURDI’s angels in the Mediterranean Sea in 3 different rescue operations.

Arrival of ALAN KURDI in Olbia

Almost half of the migrants are minors.

The youngest is 5 months old.

We greet the frightened men and women and try to understand what is going to happen.

The setting up of the tents starts at around 12 o’clock.

Why couldn’t it be done earlier? We were there from 6:00 am in the morning.

The wind is strong, sometimes it turns into a storm and people are forced to stay on the ship.

They start disembarking at around 6:00 pm, there are women sitting on the ground with their children.

It is cold.

Most of them are barefoot.

They look at us, we look at them. I feel guilty. Awfully guilty.

Rescued people and police in Olbia

I wish I were on that ship; I would like to tell them that everything will be all right and that in a little while, finally everything will be over.

But unfortunately, that is not the case.

For the night, a reception center is set up outside the industrial port, they would stay there.

Welcome to Olbia

We go back on Saturday to have news and we manage to interview the Chief Officer Josh, who welcomes us with “open arms” from behind a railing.


From the poem Homeby Warsan Shire, a young Kenyan writer and poetess.

Today no one cares about the news anymore.

Arrival in Olbia

But how much do we really care about these people?

Or do they only make the news one day and disappear the next day?

“But how much do we really care about these people?”

Many of them are unaccompanied minors, children who arrive in an unknown land without their parents after experiencing no one knows what tragedies.

“Dear haters, look who you have poured your hatred on.”

Dear haters, look who you have poured your hatred on.

The most vulnerable people of this unjust world.

On Sunday evening we manage to bring pizzas to the whole crew.

A great honor for us.

Being able to document the landing just before my next experience was a great sign. I am about to begin a silent walk that will take me from Assisi to Riace where I will meet Domenico Lucano.

Domenico, the former mayor of Riace, has created a model of integration for migrants that has been recognized all over the world.

It is now up to Europe to find solutions, including for hotspots in Greece. We need precise rules.

We are all the same, there are no first or second-class human beings.

Love generates Love.
Love generates positive feelings.
Love generates life.

Have a good life, everyone.

With love.

The Author: Stefano Lotumolo

With a diploma in accounting, he worked as a floriculturist in the family business until the age of 28. In 2015 he left his safe harbor to start travelling, getting to know himself and the world.

In June 2017 he embarked on his first photographic journey, three months backpacking in Africa. From there, his life changed completely. Through photography he wants people to see human beings the way he sees them through his eyes, and he perceives them with his heart.

He wants to transmit the same love and respect he has for life.

Through photography Stefano wants to be a voice for the voiceless, tell stories of real life and the various vicissitudes of the people he shares his life experiences with.

Photos in this article: © Stefano Lotumolo