German NGO Sea-Eye resumes work off Libyan coast

German NGO resumes migrant rescue ops off Libya [photo: Digital Journal]
German aid group Sea-Eye said Saturday it was resuming its migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean, a month after pulling out when Libya barred foreign vessels from a stretch of water off its coast, the Daily Mail reported.

“Sea-Eye has decided to resume its rescue missions in the Mediterranean which had been halted for a month,” the NGO said in a statement.

However, its two ships, the Sea-Eye and the Seefuchs, would now operate in a perimeter of 70 to 90 nautical miles from the Libyan coast, it said, “to take account of the constant threat from the Libyan coastguard and to not compromise the safety of the crews”. The Daily Mail added.

Sea-Eye said its decision to return was partly prompted by events on September 2, when the Seefuchs was called on to help with a rescue mission 50 miles off Libya in which 16 people in a wooden boat were saved from drowning, according to the Daily Mail.

“This case shows that claims by Frontex and the EU that there are no more refugees, and therefore no more drowning people, off the Libyan coast are false.” The Daily Mail said.

Frontex is the EU’s border management agency.

Survivors last week reported that two more vessels, rubber boats filled with migrants, had set out at the same as they did, the NGO said. Those boats and their passengers disappeared without a trace, added the Daily Mail.

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