Launching ceremony in Mallorca: Father baptizes Sea-Eye ship in the name of his drowned son “Alan Kurdi”

The “Professor Albrecht Penck” receives new name

On 2nd of September 2015, the brothers Alan and Ghalib Kurdi drowned together with their mother Rehana Kurdi in the Mediterranean Sea. Their bodies were washed up on the coast of Bodrum. The image of the lifeless body of two-year-old Alan Kurdi gained tragic notoriety and moved millions of people around the world.
Photo: Abdullah Kurdi (father)

Regensburg, Palma de Mallorca – On 10thof February, Sea-Eye renames the “Professor Albrecht Penck”. The launching ceremony is carried out on a small scale in the port of Palma de Mallorca. Already in December the organization successfully asked the Kurdi family for permission to give the ship the name of their deceased boy. The family agreed and accepted Sea-Eye’s invitation to carry out the baptism of the ship themselves. Father Abdullah Kurdi and Alan’s Aunt Tima Kurdi will travel to Mallorca to do so. 

“The name “Alan Kurdi” shall be a reminder of what our work is really about. It is not about ships, captains, NGOs and clashes with misguided politicians. It is about actual persons, like Alan, Ghalib and Rehena, who drown in the Mediterranean daily. And it is about the endless pain and grief their loved ones have to feel.”– Carlotta Weibl, spokesperson for Sea-Eye e.V. 

The photographs of the drowned boy in September 2015 impelled thousands of civilians in Europe to turn towards civilian sea rescue. Likewise, it did with Hannelore and Michael Buschheuer from Regensburg, who founded the organization Sea-Eye e.V. together with friends. It was this moment, when builders, lawyers, doctors, brokers, retirees and students felt more than just dismay. They felt responsible and capable of doing something. With Sea-Eye ships, hundreds of volunteer crew members have been rescuing more than 14.000 human lives in more than 60 missions since 2016. Among them, many children sitting next to their mothers and fathers on rubber boats unsuitable for the high sea. Sea-Eye helpers where there, together with other civil rescue organizations, when public sea rescue ships were no longer sent to them, due to political reasons.

“We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the name of our boy. My boy on the beach must never be forgotten. Our grief for the loss of my wife and sons is shared by many, by thousands of families who have so tragically lost sons and daughters this way”, says Abdullah Kurdi.

The launching ceremony will take place on 10.02.2019 at 10 o’clock in the port of Palma de Mallorca. Also invited are the Mayor of Palma, Antoni Noguera, and the Social Affairs Minister of the Balearic Islands, Fina Santiago. The politicians visited the Sea-Eye ship already last week to talk to the captain and the organization’s board. They welcomed Sea-Eye in Mallorca and declared their solidarity with the concerns of civilian sea rescuers.


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