Rettungsschiff ALAN KURDI

Italian coast guard refuses to conduct further inspections

The Italian coast guard has been detaining the Sea-Eye rescue ship ALAN KURDI in Olbia (Sardinia) for three months. Sea-Eye filed a lawsuit against the detention on January 5, 2021 at the administrative court in Cagliari. The court should now decide on the legality of the detention in an urgent procedure. It was the second detention of the ship following a rescue operation last year. In September the ALAN KURDI crew rescued 133 people, including 62 minors.

The Italian Coast Guard argues, among other things, that the ship has too few toilets on board. They claim the holding tanks are too small and that there are too many life jackets on board. The same politically motivated arguments are used by the coast guard against other German rescue ships.

Most recently, the Italian Coast Guard refused to conduct further inspections to end the detention. The argument put forward was that the declarations by the German flag state administration and the classification society were “no clear proof and evidence” that the ship’s complaints had been resolved. “For purely political reasons, the coast guard deliberately takes a fundamentally opposite stance to its German colleagues and thus creates an unsolvable situation. That is why we can practically do nothing else than to sue again,“ says Gorden Isler, chairman of Sea-Eye e. V.

With regard to the legal proceedings of the sea rescue organization Sea-Watch, whose complaint against the arrest of two rescue ships was referred to the European Court of Justice by the administrative court in Palermo on December 23, 2020, Isler continues: “We fear that our case will also be referred to the ECJ. A process lasting several years would cause great problems and raise fundamental questions. A blocked ship also costs a lot of money. These are donations that we would rather invest in equipping our new rescue ship SEA-EYE 4 in order to save human lives, instead of arguing in court about politically motivated bogus arguments.

Last August Sea-Eye protested for the first time against the detention of the ALAN KURDI on May 5th. To date, however, there is still no trial date in this matter.