[WATCH] Sea-Watch rescue ship leaves Malta after being blocked for three months

The humanitarian vessel Sea-Watch 3 was this morning granted permission to leave Malta’s port

The Sea-Watch 3, leaving Malta on its way to Spain on Saturday
The Sea-Watch 3, leaving Malta on its way to Spain on Saturday

The NGO humanitarian ship Sea-Watch has left Malta after having been blocked from leaving the island for more than three months.

The vessel’s Facebook page said that after having been “unlawfully detained,” the Sea-Watch 3 was given permission to leave port on Saturday morning, and was now on its way to Spain.

The ship had been prevented from departing from Malta after a dispute between European Union member states over the fate of a group of migrants rescued by the vessel the MV Lifeline, which was further complicated by the fact that the vessel was only registered as a pleasure craft and lacked some necessary documentation.

Earlier in October, the reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird, operated by Sea-Watch, resumed operations after having been grounded in Malta for three months.

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Sea-Watch aircraft Moonbird resumes rescue operations after being grounded in Malta

The aircraft, operated in cooperation with the Swiss Humanitarian Pilots Initiative, was prevented from continuing search-and-rescue operations by the Maltese government without any legal grounds, the NGO had protested.

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