Sea-Eye rescue ship ALAN KURDI docks in Pozzallo and brings 32 people to safety

Mission of 2nd Christmas Eve comes to a good end

  • ALAN KURDI docks in Pozzallo
  • 32 rescued persons can go ashore
  • Malta refused to evacuate weakened women and children
  • Guiseppe Conte announced a revision of the strict security policy

The German rescue ship ALAN KURDI docked in the port of Pozzallo on Sunday morning. The 32 survivors sent an emergency call to the aid organization AlarmPhone on Christmas Eve. The Libyan authorities and the civil rescue ships ALAN KURDI and OCEAN VIKING were informed immediately. During the night from Thursday to Friday, the crew of the Regensburg organization found a total of 32 people in a crowded plastic boat. All survivors stated that they were Libyan citizens.

Already on Saturday evening, the head of mission of the ALAN KURDI rescue ship was informed about the assignment of a port of safety by the Italian MRCC. The ship had only been present in the Italian search and rescue zone for a few hours. Earlier on Saturday, the ship had requested an emergency evacuation of ten of the people aboard from the authorities at the Maltese MRCC. Two women and several children had consumed no food or water due to seasickness and stress and were therefore dehydrated. The Maltese rescue control center declined to evacuate.

“We are really relieved that the rescued people no longer had to wait on board our ship. We were increasingly concerned about the medical condition of some people and the upcoming storm,“ said chairman Gorden Isler.

The human rights observer on board the ALAN KURDI interviewed some survivors. One man reported that was to be conscripted for mandatory military service in the Libyan civil war and fled because he did not want to kill people. He and his partner further stated that they considered the crossing the Mediterranean as a last resort. Sea-Eye is still evaluating the interviews.

On Saturday the Italian President Guiseppe Conte stated that he wants to revise Salvini’s security policy. Under the former Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, draconian sanctions against rescue workers and rescue vessels were introduced.

Julian Pahlke, spokesman for Sea-Eye on the political developments in Italy: “Salvini’s policy of closed ports must end immediately. The so-called security packages have not only fueled the xenophobic climate, they also contradict international law and fundamental human rights. The President’s announcement must now be followed up with action. We have to find a humanitarian view of this crisis at our shared external borders. At the same time, however, all EU member states must support the Mediterranean countries and agree on a joint distribution of all the people saved.“