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Despite the Covid-19 epidemic, an NGO announces the imminent resumption of migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean

The humanitarian ship “Alan Kurdi” will be the only one to operate off Libya, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The humanitarian boat Alan kurdi will resume rescue operations from migrants off Libya, the German NGO Sea Eye announced on Tuesday March 31. He will be the only one to operate in the area due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ship, headed by German captain Bärbel Beuse, left the Spanish port on Monday evening where it had been for two months for repairs. It should reach the rescue and search area off the Libyan coast “presumably this weekend”, the organization said in a statement.

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The NGO is counting on “great difficulties in finding a safe port to disembark if we actually come to a rescue operation”, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that is hitting Europe, especially Italy, where people rescued at sea generally land. “We have enough personal protective equipment for our team on board and a management plan in case of illness on the boat”, assured Jan Ribbeck, who heads the mission on the Alan Kurdi.

Sea Eye pointed out that, for weeks, no NGO has succeeded in sending a humanitarian boat in operation, in particular due to the closure of the borders which does not allow crews and teams of volunteers to reach the ports where these are located. boats. Therefore, “The Alan Kurdi is the only humanitarian boat under way for the Libyan search and rescue zone”. “It's almost a miracle that we can put together a team, train it and prepare it for these special conditions”said Gorden Isler, president of Sea Eye. Two other humanitarian boats are currently still docked: theOcean Viking, of the NGO SOS Mediterranean, and theOpen Arms, from the eponymous Spanish NGO.

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