Fears of penalties have not materialized so far
On Friday morning, the rescue ship SEA-EYE 4 docked in the port of Ortona and the 49 refugees on board were able to go ashore. The crew had rescued 17 people from unseaworthy wooden boats last Sunday and 32 on Wednesday.
Since Italian authorities already detained and fined a rescue ship in February for carrying out multiple rescues, Sea-Eye is concerned that the SEA-EYE 4 may also be detained and fined. So far, authorities have not announced any action, though fines may still be imposed many weeks later.
“Our crew and the refugees were kindly welcomed by the local authorities, for which we are very grateful. But even if we did not feel the state repression directly today, it is still unbearable that sea rescuers are always at risk of being criminalized and punished,” says Gorden Isler, chairman of Sea-Eye e. V..