Urgent appeal to the MRCC

In a letter to the MRCC in Rome, the chairman of Sea-Eye, Prof. Dr. Tilman Mischkowsky, calls on the principles of humanitarian emergency relief to be adhered to and criticises the hesitant behaviour of the Italian authority in the last dramatic days:

Mr. Vice Admiral Giovanni Pettorino, Mr. Cpt Andrea Tassaro; Dear Sirs of MRCC!

In my letter of today, I refer to the letter adressed to you on 14. 05.18. 

In the quoted letter, I had informed you in detail and precisely about the possibilities we have in the refugee rescue with our ships and our crews. I also mentioned in the letter that we hope for a successful cooperation and that you are aware of your responsibility towards us and our ship. The events of past days (case 559) raise serious doubts about your willingness to help and support us in a very difficult situation.

The catastrophic overload of our ship with initially 138 people, then with still114 refugees was a completely unreasonable burden for all our crewmembers involved in this case. The danger for our crew and for the refugees was immanent, with the announced weather change the total loss of the ship and all people on board would be feared. The disembarking of 24 people by the Italian Coastgard was a little help, but the real problem continued unabated. We had visible contact with two large ships in immediate vicinity. These vessels were obviously not asked to assist. Of course, all operations in these critical circumstances have been documented in detail.

I do not suppose that you consciously endanger our live and those of the refugees. But I would like to note that you obviously did not take seriously my statement in my last letter of 14.5.2018. Thus, it may be probably the reason that you underestimated the risk for our lives and apparently didn’t support us.

There is an urgent need for discussion, so we ask you for an appointment in the very near future in Rome. Time is pressing, our next mission will start in Valletta in two days.


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