Migrant Rescue Ship Apprehended By Italian Coast Guard
On Sunday, the MV Louise Michel – ship funded by British street artist Banksy – was taken in Lampedusa by the Italian coast guard. They said they had requested the boat to dock in Trapani, Sicily after they rescued individuals in Libya’s Search And Rescue area.
Instead, it went to give assistance to three other boats in Malta’s Search And Rescue area. This was due to recent Italian legislation which sets codes of conduct for charity ships rescuing migrants.
The 30-meter-long Louise Michel carried 178 migrants when it arrived at Lampedusa late Saturday – to ensure their safety and prevent overcrowding on board. Meanwhile, local authorities said that their reception facilities were now full.
The coast guard also said that they coordinated rescue operations for 58 boats and helped over 3,300 people within 48 hours.
On Twitter, the group associated with Louise Michel reported that they were informed of its seizure because of a violation of Italian law and are ready for any potential legal action against this decision.
Simultaneously, a tragedy occurred off Tunisia’s coast where at least 29 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Italy; this news was made public by Tunisian coast guards on Sunday morning.
Reference: Reuters, US News