Many migrants are still trying to get to Europe from North Africa via the central Mediterranean. A German rescue ship has now picked up hundreds.
Rome (dpa) – According to the German private operator, the auxiliary vessel “Sea-Eye 4” has taken on board more than 400 migrant boats in the Mediterranean in a short time. The Sea-Eye organization wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“On the fifth mission, the crew rescued 99 people, most of whom claim to be from Syria,” the crew said in the morning. Then there was a sixth mission. The number of people admitted has increased from about 330 to more than 400.
Civilian rescue workers at sea in Regensburg, Bavaria, had already reported on relief missions in recent days. Most boat migrants left for Italy in small boats from Libya and Tunisia. Many of them end up in life-threatening situations on the poorly equipped boats.
The association’s vessel “Sea-Eye 4”, established in 2015, began operations early this month to rescue migrants in distress in the Mediterranean. The mission is supported by United4Rescue, the civilian sea rescue alliance, and the aid organization German Doctors.
More than 550 people have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean this year, according to the UN. More than 2,000 refugees recently arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over a weekend.
Italy’s call for help to other EU countries to take over these people has so far been largely ignored. As said Monday at the request of the European Commission, so far only Ireland has agreed to take in ten Lampedusa migrants from Italy. Talks with other countries were still ongoing. As a result, Germany has not yet offered assistance. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) promised support in Rome last week.
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