Regensburg refugee helpers released.

14.09.16. Monday evening saw the release of the two crew members of the sea rescue organisation Sea-Eye, who had been detained in Libya. According to the Libyan coast guard they had entered Libyan territorial waters without permission.

The two 68-year-old men were travelling on their speedboat last Friday and allegedly entered Libyan waters. The Libyan authorities arrested them. According to a spokesperson of the Libyan navy, the helpers admitted to having fallen asleep on the speedboat. Allegedly the coast guard stopped their escape attempt by firing warning shots.

“We are sure that they stayed in international waters,” underlined Hans-Peter Buschheuer of the private rescue organisation from Regensburg, Germany. Sea-Eye e.V. informs that the speedboat remains in Libyan custody. Sea-Eye is planning to reclaim it with the support of the German Foreign Ministry. This is what Buschheuer told Bavarian Radio. “We do not know its exact location because the boat’s communication equipment has been shut off, we cannot locate it.” Buschheuer suspects a form of state piracy. Employees of the coast guard could be interested in such a speedboat because it is modern and expensive.

According to Sea-Eye e.V., the detainees were treated well by the Libyan authorities. German diplomats supported Sea-Eye e.V. during the negotiations for the release. “Sea-Eye e.V. thanks the German Foreign Ministry, especially the German Ambassador in Tripolis and the German Navy for their excellent efforts,” the organisation stated.

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