Refugee aid workers put to sea with second ship

By Ulli Scherr 
The new, second ship of Regensburg refugee rescue organisation “Sea-Eye” has left for its first patrolling journey off the Libyan coast in order to help refugees in distress. The accusations of the Italian judiciary against the refugee aid workers have been cleared up.

The organisation bought the 60-year-old fishing cutter “Seefuchs” a few weeks ago in Northern Germany and re-equipped it to turn it into a rescue boat. The first mission of the “Seefuchs” will last for 14 days. The boat has 700 life vests and life rafts for about 500 people on board.

The organisation “Sea-Eye”, founded by hobby sailors from Regensburg, has been active for a year. With their first boat, the “Sea-Eye”, the aid workers report to have rescued more than 8,000 people from distress.

Senate: The NGOs do not cooperate with traffickers

In the meantime, the Italian Senate’s Defence Committee has cleared “Sea-Eye” and other NGOs of the accusation of cooperation with traffickers during the rescue of refugees. A senate report states that no indications were found of illegal arrangements between aid workers and traffickers.

Currently, large numbers of refugees are arriving in Italy. During the first four months of the year, 37,200 people arrived, according to information provided by the EU border protection agency Frontex. This is an increase of 33% compared to the same period last year.

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