First mission for Sea-Eye since Giorgia Meloni’s extreme right-wing government took office.
The SEA-EYE 4 departed from Burriana on Wednesday (07.12.2022) for the sixth and final rescue mission in 2022. The ongoing mission is largely made possible by the civilian sea rescue alliance United4Rescue. “Without the help of the alliance, which is supported by more than 850 institutions, the current mission could not be financed,” says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e.V.
The Regensburg sea rescuers have been suffering from a massive drop in donations for months. A funding of 300,000 € by United4Rescue and further funding of 25,000 € by the UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe and 15,000 € by Civilfleet Support e.V. now enable the SEA-EYE 4 to return to the central Mediterranean. Since the alliance ship set off on its first rescue mission in May 2021, the crews have saved more than 2,300 people from drowning.
“We are delighted that, thanks to our support, the SEA-EYE 4 was able to set off on its next mission and will be saving lives again in the coming days,” said Ansgar Gilster, board member of United4Rescue. “No rescue ship should be left in port because there is no money – that’s what we stand for with our broad alliance.”
For the SEA-EYE 4, this is the first mission since the change of government in Italy. Already in the first weeks of the extreme right-wing government under Giorgia Meloni, the situation for civil sea rescue organizations in the Mediterranean has rapidly escalated. Prime Minister Meloni, as well as other members of the cabinet, did not only radically ramp up rhetorically. In November, for example, the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, issued an illegal decree in an attempt to massively restrict the fundamental right to asylum and to deny refugees the right to apply for asylum on European soil, contrary to current law.
“In this situation, it is all the more important that we as a civic society stand up for the human right to bodily integrity. We will continue to stand together against the dying in the Mediterranean, and we demand a clear shift of course in refugee and migration policy from politicians,” says Dr Harald Kischlat, Chairman of German Doctors e.V.
The Bonn-based humanitarian aid organization German Doctors e.V. is once again providing the mission doctor on board. The organizations Sea-Eye and German Doctors want to continue working together in 2023 to save as many people as possible from drowning. How often the SEA-EYE 4 will be able to embark in 2023 is uncertain. Sea-Eye received significantly fewer donations this year than in the same period last year.
“We have to emphasize now that we will do fewer missions in the coming year if the situation does not improve quickly. Already the first planned mission in the coming year is seriously endangered,” says Isler.