"Proactive fleet for rescue": Sea rescuers send a call for help to EU countries

The situation in the Mediterranean is tense.

"Proactive fleet for rescue": Sea rescuers send a call for help to EU countries

The situation in the Mediterranean is tense. More and more fleeing people get into distress at sea. There are also other problems with the registration process. Three aid organizations are calling for a state-run EU fleet.

Because of more and more migrants in distress in the Mediterranean, three aid organizations are calling for a state search and rescue program. The German association Sea-Watch and the international organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Méditerranée demanded that the EU states "deploy an appropriate, state-run and proactive fleet for sea rescue".

In the past few weeks, the helpers had brought hundreds of migrants on board their ships who wanted to cross from Africa to Europe. Italy has registered more than 42,000 people so far this year - that is already significantly more than in all of 2021, when 30,000 were counted. The Mediterranean country is having increasing problems registering and admitting people properly.

The refugee camp on the island of Lampedusa, designed for around 350 people, is extremely overcrowded. The helpers complain that the EU countries are not carrying out coordinated operations in the Mediterranean to save people. Instead, civil organizations would have to step in. According to the UN, 907 migrants have been reported dead or missing on the central Mediterranean route this year alone.

Matteo Salvini from the right-wing Lega wants to visit the camp in Lampedusa this Thursday and campaign there. He is hoping for a victory for the centre-right bloc in the September 25 elections and has already announced that he will then take much tougher action against migrants. Meanwhile, the aid organizations are constantly on duty. The Médecins Sans Frontières ship "Geo Barents" with 659 rescued people - including more than 150 children and babies - continued to wait for a port assignment on Wednesday.

"This unnecessary, day-long wait wears down the rescued," reported Mattea Weihe, spokeswoman for Sea-Watch. "They survived the Mediterranean, but instead of knowing they are safe, they have to wait for days outside the closed gates of Europe for their human rights to be respected.

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