Sea-Watch is a German non-governmental organisation that operates in the Mediterranean Sea, notably by commissioning ships to rescue migrants.

Sea-Watch
Sea-Watch 2.jpg
Established19 May 2015 Edit this on Wikidata (7 years ago)
FoundersHarald Höppner Edit this on Wikidata
Legal statusregistered association Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersBerlin Edit this on Wikidata
Membership57 (2022) Edit this on Wikidata
Revenue1,608,109 euro (2017) Edit this on Wikidata

HistoryEdit

On 6 November 2017, the crew of a Sea-Watch ship rescued 58 people in an operation hindered by the Libyan Navy. Twenty other people drowned.[1][2][3] Video footage that implicated the Libyan Coast Guard was later used in legal action against Italy in the European Court of Human Rights.[4]

2018Edit

The ship Sea-Watch resumed her operations in November 2018[5][6][7] after it was detained in Malta between July and October.[8]

On 22 December 2018, another of the organisation's ships, Sea-Watch 3, rescued around 32 people,[9] but was unable to dock in Malta, Italy, or Spain.[10][11]

2019Edit

On 3 January 2019, France, Germany and the Netherlands offered to take some of the 49 migrants blocked off Malta on Sea-Watch and Sea-Eye "as a collective allocation effort".[11][8] According to Mina Andreeva, the spokeswoman of the European Commission, more solidarity is needed along with "foreseeable and sustainable solutions for the landing and re-localization in the Mediterranean"; she quoted the commissioner in charge of migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos.[12]

Two weeks after the rescue, the 49 migrants were still blocked off Malta on Sea-Watch 3 and the Sea-Eye [de],[13] in spite of an appeal by Pope Francis.[14] On 9 January, they were finally allowed to disembark in Malta[15] after an agreement to relocate them to eight other European countries was reached.[16][17] On 19 January, Sea-Watch 3 rescued 47 further migrants. The Italian government forbade her from entering the port, and initiated legal action against the Netherlands;[18] the organisation referred the case to the European Court of Human Rights.[19] On 29 January, Italy, Germany, France, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Luxembourg agreed to relocate the 47 migrants.[20] Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini demanded that Sea-Watch 3 be detained.[20] As the ship was docked at the Italian city Catania to land the migrants, she was blocked by the Italian military on the grounds of "several non-conformities"; the organisation called the obstruction political pressure.[21]

On 19 May 2019, the Italian police seized Sea-Watch 3 at the island Lampedusa, allowing the disembarking of the 47 migrants whom she had recently picked up on 15 May 2019.[22][23] Reports of the operations angered Matteo Salvini, who opposed the landing of the migrants.[23][24] In June 2019, the ship was again detained; 53 migrants had been rescued from the coast of Libya on 12 June.[25] Italy allowed only 11 especially vulnerable people to disembark; on 25 June 2019, the captain of Sea-Watch 3 threatened to land at Lampedusa in spite of the interdiction,[26] eventually entering Italian territorial waters. According to the organisation, it was "not as a provocative act, but out of necessity and responsibility".[27][28][29] A column in French newspaper Le Monde stated that Captain Carola Rackete was only "reminding us all of the existence of international conventions such as that stating rescue at sea is a duty for all".[30] In an editorial in the same newspaper, 700 celebrities supported the migrants and opposed Salvini.[31] A poll by Italian daily Il Giornale showed that 61% of Italians were opposed to Sea-Watch 3 landing at Lampedusa.[32] During the night of 28 to 29 June, the ship was seized, and Carola Rackete was arrested for helping illegal immigration.[33] Sea-Watch 3 later collided with the 50-knot Class 800 patrol boat[34] "808" of Italian law enforcement agency Guardia di Finanza, which had tried to block the larger vessel from docking. The boat[clarification needed] was pushed against the dock and slightly damaged.[35] Since the Guardia di Finanza was legally considered a combatant while it protected waterways, the Italian media reported that Rackete could also be charged with attack on a warship, a crime punishable with 3 to 10 years in prison.[36] Two days later, an Italian judge decided that no further incarceration was necessary, and Rackete was released. As of July 2019, the criminal investigation continues.[37]

ShipsEdit

Sea-Watch is a former 21.12-meter (69 ft 3 in) fishing ship. Built in 1917[38] and purchased in 2015, Sea-Watch used her in 2015 until she was transferred later that year to the organisation Mare Liberum, receiving the name Mare Liberum.

Sea-Watch 2 is a former fishing research ship, originally entering service as Clupea in 1968. She was deployed on 14-day rescue operations between Libya and Malta in 2016 and 2017 along with Sea-Watch. Sold to the organisation Mission Lifeline, she now operates under the name Lifeline.[39]

Sea-Watch 3 is a 50.53-meter (165 ft 9 in) ship. Built in 1972 as an offshore supply ship, the organisation Médecins Sans Frontières commissioned it as a search and rescue vessel under the name Dignity I before transfer to Sea-Watch.[40]

Sea-Watch 4 is a 60.70-meter (199 ft 2 in) ship. Built in 1976 as a research ship, the Evangelical Church in Germany formed an association to buy the ship in early 2020. The ship is run by a cooperation between Sea-Watch and Médecins Sans Frontières and operated as a German-flagged rescue vessel in the Mediterranean Sea since August 2020.[41]

Reconnaissance aircraftEdit

Since 2017, Sea-Watch have operated a SAR-coordinating reconnaissance aircraft, Moonbird, a single-engined Cirrus SR22, and since June 2020, also the Seabird, a twin-engined high-performance Beechcraft Baron 58.[42] These are flown in cooperation with the Swiss NGO Humanitarian Pilots Initiative.[43]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Des chercheurs retracent le "sauvetage" désastreux de 150 migrants en Méditerranée". Le Monde.fr. 2019-01-03. ISSN 1950-6244. Archived from the original on 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  2. ^ Heller, Charles; Pezzani, Lorenzo; Mann, Itamar; Moreno-Lax, Violeta (2018-12-26). "'It's an Act of Murder': How Europe Outsources Suffering as Migrants Drown (Opinion)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  3. ^ "Enquête. Comment l'Europe et la Libye laissent mourir les migrants en mer". Courrier international (in French). 2019-01-02. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  4. ^ "Une vidéo du "New York Times" montre comment l'Europe laisse les migrants mourir en mer". Libération. 2019-01-04. Archived from the original on 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  5. ^ "Trois ONG lancent une opération de sauvetage au large de la Libye". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2018-11-23. Archived from the original on 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  6. ^ ""Aquarius" : "La non-assistance à personnes en danger est revenue en force en Méditerranée"". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2018-12-07. Archived from the original on 2018-12-23. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  7. ^ "Migrants : "Il existe une politique de criminalisation des sauvetages en mer"". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2018-11-24. Archived from the original on 2018-12-18. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  8. ^ a b "Les ONG de sauvetage de migrants sont de retour en Méditerranée". Le Monde. 2019-01-04. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  9. ^ "Christmas at sea: 344 people rescued within 24 hours – no safe port for the rescued people on Sea-Watch 3 • Sea-Watch e.V." Sea-Watch e.V. 2018-12-23. Archived from the original on 2019-07-05. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  10. ^ "Migrants en Méditerranée : l'appel de la ligue des droits de l'homme Corse". France Bleu (in French). 2019-01-02. Archived from the original on 2019-01-02. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  11. ^ a b "La France prête à accueillir des migrants bloqués au large de Malte". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2019-01-03. Archived from the original on 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  12. ^ "49 migrants dans l'attente de la bonne volonté européenne". Bruxelles2.eu. 2019-01-05. Archived from the original on 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  13. ^ "Migrants : les navires Sea-Watch et Sea-Eye toujours bloqués en mer". TV5MONDE (in French). 2019-01-06. Archived from the original on 2019-01-06. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  14. ^ "Migrants bloqués au large de Malte : le pape lance un appel à la solidarité européenne". Le Monde. 2019-01-07. Archived from the original on 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  15. ^ "EU hostages finally set free after 19 days aboard Sea-Watch 3 • Sea-Watch e.V." Sea-Watch e.V. 2019-01-09. Archived from the original on 2019-07-05. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  16. ^ "Les cris de joie des réfugiés du Sea-Watch en apprenant qu'ils ont enfin le droit d'accoster à Malte". Le Huffington Post (in French). 2019-01-10. Archived from the original on 2019-01-10. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  17. ^ "Scènes de joie à bord du Sea Watch avant le débarquement à Malte". www.voaafrique.com (in French). 2019-01-09. Archived from the original on 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  18. ^ "Italy vows to sue NGO over migrant rescue boat". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 2019-01-27. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  19. ^ "Migrants : l'ONG Sea-Watch saisit la CEDH contre l'Italie". Le Monde (in French). 2019-01-29. Archived from the original on 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  20. ^ a b "L'Italie parvient à un accord sur les 47 migrants du "Sea-Watch"". Le Monde (in French). 2019-01-31. Archived from the original on 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  21. ^ "Le navire "Sea-Watch" bloqué en Sicile par les gardes-côtes italiens". Le Monde (in French). 2019-02-01. Archived from the original on 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  22. ^ "Après la saisie d'un bateau de Sea Watch, des migrants débarquent à Lampedusa, malgré l'interdiction de Matteo Salvini". Franceinfo (in French). 2019-05-20. Archived from the original on 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  23. ^ a b "Matteo Salvini couronné "prince" des extrêmes-droites européennes voit son autorité bafouée en Italie" (audio). France Culture (in French). Archived from the original on 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  24. ^ "Le ministre de l'intérieur italien Salvini furieux de voir des migrants arriver à Lampedusa". Le Monde (in French). 2019-05-20. Archived from the original on 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  25. ^ "Réunis à Malte, les pays d'Europe du Sud, dont la France, restent en désaccord sur l'accueil des migrants". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-15. Archived from the original on 2019-06-15. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  26. ^ "La tension monte autour du "Sea-Watch", bloqué en mer avec 42 migrants". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-25. Archived from the original on 2019-06-25. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  27. ^ "Treize jours après avoir secouru plus de 50 migrants, le "Sea-Watch 3" force le blocus des eaux italiennes". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-26. Archived from the original on 2019-06-26. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  28. ^ "Sea-Watch 3, l'honneur de désobéir". France Culture (in French). Archived from the original on 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  29. ^ Sall, Rouguyata. "Le "Sea-Watch 3" toujours bloqué au large de Lampedusa après avoir forcé le blocus italien". Mediapart (in French). Archived from the original on 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  30. ^ "Migrants : les leçons à l'Europe de la capitaine du "Sea-Watch 3"". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-27. Archived from the original on 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  31. ^ ""Sea-Watch 3": "C'est maintenant qu'il faut inverser la destruction du droit et de l'humanité"". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-27. Archived from the original on 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  32. ^ (in Italian) Sea Watch a Lampedusa: ma il 61% degli italiani non vuole che attracchi Archived 2019-06-30 at the Wayback Machine, ilgiornale.it, 2019-06-27
  33. ^ "Migrants en Méditerranée: le "Sea-Watch 3" accoste à Lampedusa malgré le refus du gouvernement, sa capitaine arrêtée". Le Monde (in French). 2019-06-29. Archived from the original on 2019-06-29. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  34. ^ "Vedetta costiera V.800" (PDF). GDF.gov.it (in Italian). 2019-06-29. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  35. ^ "Sea Watch, la manovra raccontata dai finanzieri: "Poteva schiacciarci. Voleva attraccare a tutti i costi, non speronare"". Ilfattoquotidiano.it (in Italian). 2019-06-29. Archived from the original on 2019-06-29. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  36. ^ Rüb, Matthias (2019-06-29). "Riskantes Anlegemanöver lässt Stimmung kippen". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-07-07. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  37. ^ "Matteo Salvini: Sea-Watch-Kapitänin Carola Rackete soll nach Hause". .nau.ch (in German). 2019-07-03. Archived from the original on 2019-07-04. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  38. ^ "Sea-Watch 1 • Sea-Watch e.V." Sea-Watch e.V. (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  39. ^ "Sea-Watch 2 • Sea-Watch e.V." Sea-Watch e.V. (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-07-07. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  40. ^ "Schiffsdetails Für: SEA WATCH 3 (Salvage/Rescue Vessel) – IMO 7302225, MMSI 244140096, Call Sign PE7098 Registriert In Netherlands | AIS Marine Traffic". MarineTraffic.com (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  41. ^ "MSF and Sea-Watch announce collaboration to save lives at sea". msf.org. Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  42. ^ Moonbird & Seabird Civilian aerial reconnaissance mission at the world’s deadliest border sea-watch.org, accessed 17 June 2021
  43. ^ December 2020 update - NGO ships involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean and legal proceedings against them 18 December 2020, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, fra.europa.eu, accessed 18 May 2021

External linksEdit