Attempted suicide aboard the ALAN KURDI after ten days of blockade

Rescued person on the ALAN KURDI

Despair and hopelessness among the rescued people increase dramatically

  • Attempted suicide aboard the ALAN KURDI
  • Captain asks the Italian coast guard to evacuate several people
  • Difficult medical evacuation at night
  • Blockade continues despite Italy’s proposed solution

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, a 24-year-old man attempted suicide aboard the ALAN KURDI. In her medical report, the ship’s doctor took note of severe state of anxiety, experiences of violence in a Libyan prison and a conflict-ridden relationship with other rescued people on board. The man’s despair had become so unbearable that he saw no other way out for himself than to escape the situation by suicide.

“The patient is a danger to himself and others. We are certain that the condition will deteriorate further,” said the ship’s doctor Dr. Caterina Ciufegni in her medical report to the Italian coast guard.

The despair and hopelessness of some people has reached an unprecedented level. Another young man is so stressed, that he has been resorting to self-injuring more and more for days. Captain Bärbel Beuse asked for the evacuation of three people on Wednesday afternoon. The Italian Coast Guard’s response was prompt. An officer of the MRCC ROM informed the captain via radio of the coordinates for a meeting point with a coast guard ship.

“We are happy and grateful that Rome assessed the danger for the people who had been saved and us, as well and immediately sent a ship,” said Captain Bärbel Beuse.

The evacuation was very difficult. The three boats of the Italian coast guard could hardly get closer without causing dramatic scenes on the ALAN KURDI.

“The people are totally desperate and have been held on the ALAN KURDI for 10 days. They indicated they wanted to jump into the water to reach the Italian boats. They almost couldn’t be calmed down,” said Jan Ribbeck, manager of operations at Sea-Eye.

The Italian coast guard apparently expected such difficulties because it sent several boats for three people to be evacuated. The coast guard seem to be completely aware of the difficult situation on the ALAN KURDI. After two hours, the evacuation of three people was finally completed.

A solution proposed by the Italian Minister of Transport has been on the table since Sunday. The people on the ALAN KURDI are to be evacuated to a larger ship in order to be more properly cared for and put in quarantine. Three more days have passed since then. No concrete information about the place and time of the evacuation was received to date, from neither Rome nor Berlin.

“The Italian authorities are still preparing a ship onto which the 149 people can be transferred,” said the Federal Foreign Office on Wednesday evening to the Sea-Eye operations management.

However, no information could be given about the exact time.

The ports of Italy, Malta and Libya are closed. 146 people on the ALAN KURDI and 43 people on the Spanish rescue ship AITA MARI continue to be denied a port of safety. No maritime rescue coordination center took responsibility for several distress emergencies on Easter weekend. Instead of looking for 85 missing people, Malta and Italy simply denied their existence.

“The relentless treatment of refugees currently seems to be political consensus at all EU borders. Letting people drown in the Mediterranean is not a new phenomenon and can therefore not be justified with Corona alone. “The increased brutality against refugees and the new ruthlessness against rescue organizations can only be explained by assuming that it shall act as a deterrent. Solidarity among the EU member states towards Italy and Malta is long overdue,” said Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V.