MIGRANT RESCUE GROUP SEA EYE TO LAUNCH ANOTHER SHIP
The German migrant rescue organization, Sea Eye is adding a further ship to its fleet as the numbers of people trying to reach Europe via unseaworthy vessels continues to climb, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
The vessel, Sea Eye 4, is currently in port in northern Germany and will begin work as soon as possible, the group announced.
"We just need a lot more rescue ships," spokesman Gorden Isler told dpa, adding that the additional vessel brings the total number of charity rescue ships operating in the central Mediterranean Sea to seven. However, the vessels, including Sea-Eye's Alan Kurdi, are frequently blocked because the Italian coast guard impounds them for alleged technical irregularities, Isler said. Financing from the project has largely come from the United4Rescue alliance based in the German city of Hanover, Sea Eye says.
The announcement comes as the number of migrants attempting the treacherous sea crossing to Europe, particularly along the route from Libya to Italy, is once again on the rise.
Last week, at least 74 people drowned when their vessel sank off the coast of the north African country, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. The day before, Open Arms rescued more than 110 people in distress off the Libyan coast. Six people were killed in the incident, among them a baby.