United4Rescue finances the mission of the new rescue ship
The new rescue ship SEA-EYE 4 left the Spanish port of Burriana for the first time on May 8th, 2021. It is expected to reach the search-and-rescue area in the central Mediterranean in 5 days. The humanitarian mission of SEA-EYE 4 in the Mediterranean is supported by United4Rescue, the alliance for civil sea rescue, as well as the German medical NGO German Doctors.
United4Rescue finances mission costs
United4Rescue supports the SEA-EYE 4 missions with an additional 423,000 euros and thus enables the expansion of civil rescue capacities in the Mediterranean. United4Rescue had previously contributed a substantial amount the purchase and conversion of the ship. The SEA-EYE 4 is already the second alliance ship of United4Rescue.
“We are very grateful to our alliance partner United4Rescue for their continued support. Thanks to the help of United4Rescue, the SEA-EYE 4 was able to leave for the search-and-rescue area today. More than 600 people drowned at Europe’s external border in the past 4 months. Italian scientists recently showed that the EU member states allowed the risk of dying at sea to increase drastically again. We finally need safe escape routes,” says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V.
“We are proud and happy that the SEA-EYE 4 was able to start its first mission today with our support. The terrible shipwreck disaster at the end of April and the many rescues of the Sea-Watch 4 and the Ocean Viking in recent weeks have made it abundantly clear again that civil sea rescue in the Mediterranean is indispensable. We would also like to thank everyone who supported us and donated for this cause. Without this kind of support, the purchase, the conversion and the first mission of the SEA-EYE 4 would not have been possible and we hope for much support in the future,” says Michael Schwickart, board member of United4Rescue.
New cooperation between German Doctors and Sea-Eye
In order to provide better medical care for people who have been rescued from distress in the Mediterranean Sea, German Doctors e. V. and Sea-Eye e. V. entered into a cooperation. A German Doctor is on board for the first time on the current mission.
The internist and emergency doctor Stefan Mees justifies his voluntary work as follows: “Every human life is precious and none should be lost in the waters of the Mediterranean. In addition, it is currently only through civil sea rescue that the awareness that something terrible is happening at the European external borders is kept alive, something that does not correspond with European values.”
German Doctors is a member of the United4Rescue alliance and has campaigned for civil sea rescue in the past. Through the cooperation with Sea-Eye, German Doctors is now also operationally involved in the missions of SEA-EYE 4.
“Even in times of the pandemic, we must not lose sight of the fact that people continue to risk their lives on the dangerous sea routes in order to flee from hardship, misery and persecution in their countries of origin. It is our responsibility that we take care of people in their desperate situation on the Mediterranean and offer them medical first aid on the SEA-EYE 4,” says Dr. Christine Winkelmann, Chairwoman of German Doctors e. V.
“The SEA-EYE 4 is able to offer first aid to significantly more people than our previous rescue ships. That is why it is very important for us to further professionalize medical care on board. The medical experience of German Doctors is a great help and we are pleased to have another strong alliance partner at our side who will support us operationally in the future,” said Isler.
An additional rescue ship is urgently needed
In this year alone, at least 616 people have drowned while fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea. The EU states continue to use drowning and collaborating with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard as a tool to deny people seeking protection their rights. With the SEA-EYE 4, Sea-Eye opposes the dying on the world’s deadliest escape route and will save as many people as possible from drowning or push-backs to Libyan internment camps.
Sea-Eye would like to thank all supporters, especially the many volunteers in the shipyard and during the transfer to the Mediterranean Sea as well as the many donors who made the use of the new rescue ship SEA-EYE 4 possible. The entire crew on board was tested negative for Corona-virus before the mission and has completed a quarantine on board the ship. Even in the event of a rescue, the crew is prepared for potential COVID-19 cases with a strict hygiene concept.