Skilled manual worker from Cologne joined rescue mission.

Moritz (36) signed up on rescue cutter.

By Philipp J. Meckert

Cologne. “I am taking along the conviction that I am doing something that is important and right. I want to save people from certain death in the Mediterranean,” says Moritz Zinkernagel, independent builder from Cologne. The 36-year-old signed up for the Sea-Eye’s ongoing mission.

The famous ex-GDR fishing cutter, 26 metres long and painted green, put to sea in Malta in order to provide people in distress off the Libyan coast with life vests, water and medication. Italian navy ships or the coast guard are then called to transport the refugees safely to the mainland. “I have never been at high sea. That will be a completely new experience. I am very curious,” Zinkernagel says. “I prefer being on the road to being at home.”

The technology fan who likes to tinker with his 30-year-old bus, always dreamt of going on board as an engineer. In February he took a plane to Sicily and checked the engine and his new workplace. “I worked my way really deep into ship technology.” He considers his first mission a kind of training. “This one is basically to get trained, so that I can do further missions as the only engineer.”

His motivation: “I am disgusted by the fact that the only answer of European politics is the closing off of Europe. I am disgusted that they wilfully let people drown in the Mediterranean. To do nothing against it is inhuman and cruel.”

Zinkernagel is part of an eight-member crew. “As the boat is running 24/7, the shifts change every eight hours,” says Sea-Eye spokesperson Hans-Peter Buschheuer. “Therefore everyone has to do watch, kitchen and cleaning duty, except the bridge crew.” And: “During the rescue operation all tasks are firmly assigned. Each member knows his or her tasks. They trained them in Malta.” 700 life vests are on board, life rafts for 500 people, two dinghies and a medical station. Everything financed through donations. Zinkernagel says, “I am already on the plan for two further missions in May and June.”

Source: Express, Cologne, Germany

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