SEA-EYE 4 rescues 51 people from distress at sea


Sea-Eye criticizes fake debate on sea rescue in the German Bundestag

During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the crew of the rescue vessel SEA-EYE 4 rescued 51 people from a rubber boat in the central Mediterranean. The emergency at sea had been reported to the crew by Frontex. There are now 51 refugees on board the SEA-EYE 4, including 38 men, 12 women and a baby. 12 of the young people are unaccompanied minors.

Italy has assigned Brindisi as the port of disembarkation for the SEA-EYE 4. This was 509 nautical miles away at the time of the assignment. A port in Sicily would have been much quicker for the exhausted people to reach.

Barbara Held, the doctor on board by our partner German Doctors, reports on the state of health of the rescued people: “We treated some burns caused by the corrosive mixture of salt water and petrol, and many headaches and body aches. The people had spent two days on the small boat without being able to move and were very exhausted. I was saddened by the reports of torture in the Libyan prisons, the orphans who were on the move all alone and the families who had been torn apart. At least here, in addition to medical care, we can give them respect, hope and safety.

While the crew of the SEA-EYE 4 rescued people for the first time with substantial support from the German government and is bringing them to safety in this very hour, the German Bundestag is debating the issue of sea rescues in the Mediterranean.

There are members of the Bundestag who cannot stand the fact that people are being saved from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea with concrete, governmental aid from Germany. The democratic parties of this country must not surrender to this fake debate and never allow humanitarian work in Germany to be criminalised,” says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e.V..

On Thursday, 19 October, the Bundestag debated for the first time a motion of the AfD, which also dealt with the financial support of sea rescues in the Bundestag.

Without the support of the Federal Government, many rescue missions will not take place next year. This would make fleeing across the Mediterranean even more dangerous.The Bundestag should therefore seriously discuss how other EU member states can be encouraged to also support sea rescue instead of giving in to the AfD and letting people drown. Human dignity must not be relativised in migration policy,” Isler continues.