ALAN KURDI reached Lampedusa
Within 12 hours on Saturday the crew rescued 133 people from three different boats. First, 90 people were rescued from a rubber dinghy and 24 people from a small wooden boat at noon.
“On neither of the boats there was a satellite telephone so that the people could never have called for help. They would not have arrived anywhere,“ said Kai, human rights observer on board the ALAN KURDI.
The ship’s watch spotted both vessels with binoculars.
“Given the size of the search area, it’s pure luck. We wonder how many boats are disappearing unheard and unseen,“ said Kai.
After nightfall, the crew found another wooden boat with 19 people whose emergency call had been forwarded to the authorities and ALAN KURDI by AlarmPhone. 18 people are Libyan citizens. Neither the responsible Libyan authorities nor the rescue control centres in Rome or Valletta responded to the written enquiries of the captain of the Sea-Eye ship.
Many children were saved
62 of the rescued people state to be minors. There are several families and a pregnant woman on board. The youngest child is still a baby and is only five months old, according to the Libyan mother.
“The families and the children are particularly vulnerable. The ALAN KURDI has now reached Lampedusa. There, we asked Italy for a safe port and requested that at least the families and the minors be evacuated immediately,” Gorden Isler states, Chairman of Sea-Eye.
Sea-Eye fears another blockade, as the Spanish rescue vessel OPEN ARMS was blocked for more than seven days with about 270 people.
“The Italian authorities have become very reluctant to support civilian sea rescuers and prefer to keep our ships in their ports for weeks on end. They seem to have no scruples about putting the rescued people and crews in danger through blockades, only to then argue in a transparent way that the ships are not suitable for precisely these situations,” Isler continues.
The rescued describe reasons for escape
Human rights observer Kai spoke with the survivors on board the ALAN KURDI about their reasons for fleeing.
“There is war in my country. Sunna are being persecuted. I had to flee because they wanted to kill me.”— 29-year-old man from Yemen —
“The government removed me from my home. Some milices catched me in Libya and I had to pay so that they don’t kill me. I had to flee to survive.”— 28-year-old man from Egypt —
“The war in Libya destroyed my house and left my family and me without nothing. I spent all I had for a surgery which my son needed but he still needs urgent help which I cannot get in Libya. I never imagined to leave my country like this but there was no other way to protect my family.”— 45-year-old man from Libya —