MOAS and Sea-Eye to resume sea rescue ops from February

Chief urges redistribution across EU of those saved

04 December, 18:00

    (ANSAmed) - VALLETTA, DECEMBER 4 - Starting in February, the NGO MOAS, an international humanitarian organization founded in 2013 by the Catrambrone family and headquartered on Malta, will resume its migrant search and rescue operations in partnership with the German NGO Sea-Eye.

    The announcement was made in a joint press release in which it was noted that it will be operating onboard a new rescue vessel that will be named Sea-Eye 4.

    The Sea-Eye 4 is a former offshore supply-vessel (built in 1972, 55 m long, 11 m wide) which is currently being converted into a SAR ship at a shipyard in northern Germany.

    MOAS, which suspended activities in the Mediterranean in 2017, was the first NGO to conduct sea rescue operations in the Mediterranean, in 2014.

    Sea-Eye will provide personnel, resources, strategic input, and expertise, the statement noted.

    ''In three years we saved over 40,000 people,'' MOAS president Regina Catrambone told ANSA. ''Currently all the NGO's search and rescue ships are stopped but people continue to arrive (by sea) in Sicily autonomously. And people continue to lose their lives as well: over 700 since the beginning of the year. Now we want to save as many as possible.'' The migrants rescued, Catrambone said, ''will be taken to safe ports that will be indicated by the authorities'' and ''might go to France or other places, and not only Italy or Greece''.

    Catrambone underscored that ''the problem is that there is not fair distribution of migrants among European countries.

    Reform of the Dublin Regulation is absolutely necessary, as the European Parliament asked once again in recent days. A solution to the migration issue cannot be found always looking to Malta, Italy, Greece, and Spain, which have taken on all the burden for several years. There must be European solidarity, of all European citizens. This must be achieved. But this does not mean that people must die at sea in the meantime.'' The intention is to agree on interventions with the European missions Frontex and EuNavForMed, which have aircraft for monitoring the borders, while MOAS/Sea-Eye will not have its own aircraft to spot boats experiencing problems at sea.(ANSAmed).


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