Dozens Suspected Drowned At Sea


Nobody feels responsible for rescuing people

  • The situation on the ALAN KURDI remains tense
  • Our on-board doctor documents clear signs of torture
  • A proposed solution for the ALAN KURDI is currently being discussed

Dramatic scenes took place on Easter Sunday in the central Mediterranean. While the ALAN KURDI remains blocked off the coast of Sicily, cases of distress at sea increased over the Easter weekend, while nobody took responsibility. Malta did not initiate any rescue operations, even for emergencies that were clearly reported in the Maltese search and rescue zone. The so-called Libyan coast guard has also stopped all rescue efforts, citing a lack of protective masks available as the reason, as Spiegel Online reported. It is feared that dozens of people have already drowned this Easter weekend, and more people still in distress.

Meanwhile, 149 rescued people had to spend their eighth night on the ALAN KURDI. People have to sleep on deck in a confined space and share two toilets and a shower. In conversation with our human rights observer, some of the rescued people reported being tortured in Libya. Our on-board doctor documented scars and burns. One person’s fingers were broken.

The Italian Minister of Transport and the head of Civil Protection made the proposal to transfer the refugees to a larger Italian ship in order to carry out a quarantine. The German Federal Foreign Office confirms that this could be a serious solution.

Supply of relief goods

The Italian coast guard has already supported ALAN KURDI twice with a supply of relief goods. Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, is in close contact with our operations manager Jan Ribbeck. Orlando fights for the rescued and the crew of the ALAN KURDI.

“Everyone has the right to health,” Orlando told the Italian press.

The third rescue mission of the year was supposed start on Easter weekend. Unfortunately, the mission had to be canceled. The blockade seriously affects Sea-Eye, in addition to the Coronavirus-related severe decrease in donations. Each additional day costs around € 2,500. The days, when saving lives led to public attention and donations, are long gone. Therefore, we ask for your support.