Banksy ship’ with migrants asks for help, Italy catches 49 people

migrants from the ship MV Louise Michel. A patrol ship has taken 32 women, 13 children and four men on board.

A call on Twitter asked for help. The men, women and children who were rescued have been at sea for days and have been severely traumatised, says the crew. “It’s time for them to go to a safe place. We need immediate assistance.”

The Louise Michel searches the Mediterranean for migrants crossing from Africa to the EU. In the course of this week the crew picked up 219 people from the sea. One of them died. Requests for assistance to Malta and Italy would have remained unanswered.

The ship sails under the German flag and is named after a French feminist anarchist. There are ten crew members on board.

The former French naval vessel is said to have been purchased with the proceeds from the sale of work by the anonymous British artist Banksy. His spokesman won’t say anything about it. The ship is painted pink and white in a Banksy-like style.