The political offensive against civil sea rescue continues: Now the civil reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird was blocked from operations as well. The aircraft is operated by Sea-Watch and the Swiss Humanitarian Pilots Initiative (HPI) and is supported by the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD). The Maltese authorities do not allow any kind of search and rescue operations. From now on no search flights in the search area north of the Libyan coast are possible anymore. Since operations started, Moonbird was involved in the rescue of 20 000 people and more than 1000 would have drowned, if the Moonbird Crew would not have found their sinking boats in the last minute.
Anyone who obstructs rescue services is liable to prosecution, nobody would intentionally block an ambulance – but that is exactly what is happening: rescue ships are being blocked, with deadly consequences. According to UNHCR, another boat accident occurred yesterday, 114 people are missing. It is already the third since rescue ships have been blocked in Malta, on Sunday at least 63 people drowned, Friday there were over 100 including 3 babies. The weeks before, several hundred people had already drowned. According to the IOM, this June is with 629 the deadliest in 5 years, although only half as many people have arrived in Italy. Mortality in June is at record levels and is directly related to the prevention of sea rescue.
Current surge in death toll linked to crack down on sea rescue. Sea-Watch fully entitled with Dutch flag, investigations are political campaign against civil rescue fleet.
Sea-Watch released the complete footage of the escalation by the Libyan coast guard during a rescue operation on November 6, 2017.
Image: Screenshot of the video of the Seawatch rescue operation on November 6, 2017.