Sea-Watch 3 rescues 65 migrants off Libyan coast

Amongst the rescuees are 11 women, one disabled person, two babies, five children and eight unaccompanied minors

A mother and child arrive at the Sea-Watch 3 inside one of the ship's two fast rescue boats (Photo: Nick Jaussi/Sea-Watch)
A mother and child arrive at the Sea-Watch 3 inside one of the ship's two fast rescue boats (Photo: Nick Jaussi/Sea-Watch)

Civil rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 has just rescued 65 migrants from a rubber boat in distress about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Libya.

The rubber boat had been spotted first by the civil reconnaissance aircraft Colibri. Sea-Watch 3 said that it set sail to the search and rescue zone (SAR) after being blockaded by the Dutch court from doing so since April.

Once there, Sea-Watch 3 picked up 65 people off the Libyan coast, many of whom, they said, showed signs of exhaustion, dehydration and sea sickness. "Amongst them are 11 women, one disabled person, two babies, five children and eight unaccompanied minors," a Sea-Watch statement read.

"You have to do everything yourself. At the weekend, we have seen once again what happens when you leave the Mediterranean to the EU and its allies: While not a single rescue ship was around, the number of boat departures from Libya increased dramatically. 70 people died, 240 more were forcibly pulled back by the Libyans on behalf of Europe," said Philipp Hahn, Head of Mission of Sea-Watch 3. "We are now back to counter this barbarism and to defend European values instead of only repeating them over and over on election posters."

A Sea-Watch statement said that the authorities in Malta, Italy and the Netherlands (the flag state of Sea-Watch 3), as well as the Libyan authorities, have been informed. The Sea-Watch 3 had left Marseille on Saturday, after a court in The Hague had lifted an unlawful political blockade by the Dutch Ministry of Transport against the ship.

With the Mare Jonio, operated by Sea-Watch’s partner organization Mediterranea, probationally seized in Italy after disembarking 30 rescuees on May 10, the Sea-Watch 3 is currently the only dedicated rescue ship in the Mediterranean.

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