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Rescue container ship stuck with migrants. Next time don’t answer a distress call?

Saved refugees lying aboard the container ship MV Marina, which is currently en route in the Mediterranean. Last weekend, the crew of the vessel picked up dozens of people in distress | Photo: picture alliance/Reederei Klingenberg/dpa

A small container ship that responded to a call for help is now stuck with 79 migrants aboard as it runs out of water, food and time.

PortandTerminal.com, May 8, 2020

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY – After their rescue over the weekend, dozens of migrants on board German container ship MV Marina are reportedly in bad shape. The ship’s operator said the situation is tense and has warned of a possible escalation.

German shipping company Klingenberg has warned that the situation aboard its container ship MV Marina could escalate. There were earlier reports that a knife fight had broken out among the rescued migrants.

Over the weekend, the crew of the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged vessel had picked up 79 people in distress off Malta in the central Mediterranean. 

“Unless a solution is found soon, people on board will die,” Thies Klingenberg, owner of shipping company Klingenberg, told German news agency dpa on Wednesday.

“Unless a solution is found soon, people on board will die,”

Italy and Malta had declared their ports as “not safe” during the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities argued the countries weren’t able to provide for people rescued at sea by ships. On Lampedusa, for instance, authorities said that a reception camp was full. Nonetheless, migrants keep arriving on EU shores and at ports in small boats.

Next time don’t answer the call to help

The only reason the MV Marina has the 79 migrants aboard is that they responded to an urgent maritime request for assistance. That’s what merchant ships are supposed to do. The fact that the crew and owner of the vessel are now suffering because of their decision to help sends a chilling message to the maritime community – Next time don’t answer the call to help.

With material from infomigrants.net and dpa

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