The Ong they do not leave, rather they double. While Italy is increasingly in difficulty due to the increase in landings, while the Lampedusa hotspot bursts and the Covid emergency alarms the beautiful country, the Sea Eye announces that it will soon launch another even “larger” boat to be placed off the coast of Libya. A real challenge to Italy, which in recent months had reached legal battles against the German association accused of using boats with “serious deficiencies in safety”.
L’Ong presented the project this morning, five years after the death of Alan Kurdi, the child found lying on the beaches of Bodrum. The new ship will be called Ghalib Kurdi, Alan’s older brother, also drowned on the same occasion. The family of the two children is also supporting the project: “We couldn’t save our family, let’s save the others”, said Tima Kurdi at the opening of the press conference.
The boat is expected to sail by the end of the year from the port of Regensburg, in Germany. The idea of finding a new vessel (it is the fourth for Sea Eye) was born in November 2019, when the NGO entered into conflict with the Italian Coast Guard on the technical characteristics of the ship “Alan Kurdi”. “Italian officials had criticized the ship for not having sufficient capacity on board to dispose of waste water and waste”, explain from the NGO which does not (obviously) share the Italian position. After recovering 150 immigrants off the coast of Libya, on May 5th Alan Kurdi was kidnapped in the port of Palermo. Authorized to leave Italy at the end of June, it is currently at the port of Burriana, in Spain, from where it is preparing to leave. The NGO’s fear is that if Alan Kurdi were to land again in Italy, she could be kidnapped for the same reasons. Sea Eye has filed an urgent appeal to the TAR of Palermo, whose sentences are expected in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, the humanitarians have thought to anticipate the times. “Already in November 2019 it became clear to us that Italy will increasingly try to argue in this direction – says Gorden Isler, president of Sea-Eye – Anticipating this, a project team has been working since February to find a bigger ship that meets all the requirements. Regardless of whether they are justified or not. We want to save people from drowning. The only way to do that is to send our ships out to sea. That’s why we need the Ghalib Kurdi. ”
Operations are already well underway. The ship was found and the price fixed. Only the equipment and the transfer of ownership are missing. There is no shortage of money, thanks to donors. Among others, Sea Eye this time thanks in particular Catholic church “great supporter of the project”. Soon the number of solidarity boats in the mare nostrum will rise again. The Sea Watch 4 (which is about to land another 353 immigrants in Palermo), the Mediterranean’s Ionian Sea, the Spanish Open Arms and the “Luoise Michel” patrol boat-work of art, financed by Bansky, are already on the field. Sea Watch 3 and Ocean Viking remain confiscated in Porto Empedocle.