The German refugee organisation Sea Watch has, according to its own claim, saved more than 300 migrants in the Mediterranean this weekend. According to the organization, the ship Sea Watch 3 picked up a total of 317 people in four rescue operations who had been in trouble during the dangerous crossing of the coast from North Africa to Europe.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, more than 1200 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year. In Italy, the gateway to the European Union for many, nearly 4500 migrants arrived by boat this year.
Built in 1973, the Sea Watch 3 was sailed under the Dutch flag for a time, like many other non-profit ships such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd. This is because, unlike many other countries, the Netherlands does not apply a maximum size when registering vessels in the non-commercial pleasure yachts category. This allows Sea Watch with large ships of more than 50 meters on mission and the organization does not have to pay out the voluntary crew.
The Sea Watch 3 was on the chain for seven months in a Spanish port north of Valencia. That was for repair work. Last week, the ship had sailed to the coast of Libya.
The ship came in the news two years ago when Captain Carola Rackete was arrested at Lampedusa after anchor there with dozens of migrants on board. The Italian Public Prosecutors Office suspected her of complicity in illegal immigration and violation of the law of the sea.
In addition to ships, Sea Watch also uses small planes to search for boats on the Mediterranean Sea.