Banksy ship’ with migrants asks for help

The crew of the ship MV Louise Michel, in the Mediterranean Sea, says that further sailing is not responsible. The ship cannot sail on safely, because there are too many migrants on board and especially because no country wants to allow them, says the crew.

In a call on Twitter it says that help is urgently needed. The men, women and children who were rescued have been at sea for days and are 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 purchase of the former French naval vessel is said to have been financed by the sale of work by the anonymous British artist Banksy. His spokesman doesn’t want to say anything about it. The ship is painted pink and white in a Banksy-like style.