Disembarkation expected for Christmas Eve
The SEA-EYE 4 was finally assigned a port of safety in Pozzallo in the afternoon of December 23rd. The rescue ship will arrive at the port on December 24th around 7:30 a.m. “We hope that people will be able to go ashore soon and not have to spend the Christmas days on board,” says Gorden Isler, chairman of Sea-Eye e. V. Many of the rescued people had to receive medical treatment aboard and they are going to continue to need medical care on land.
The crew of SEA-EYE 4 had rescued 223 people in the Maltese search, rescue and coordination zone in a total of four rescue operations on December 16 and 17, but Malta had refused to take over the coordination of these cases. While the SEA-EYE 4 waited for a whole week for the assignment a port of safety, 9 people had to be evacuated by the Italian coast guard for medical reasons in 4 medical evacuations.
“We are infinitely relieved that people are finally allowed to go ashore. It is significant that even on Christmas Eve people are brought to safety by sea rescuers. The humanitarian crisis does not make Christmas vacation. We are particularly grateful to the civil society sea rescue alliance United4Rescue, who made this additional rescue mission possible. It saved the lives of another 223 people,” says Isler.
In total, the SEA-EYE 4 has rescued over 1400 people from distress at sea during four rescue missions in 2021.