German ship rescues more than 100 migrants
The German humanitarian aid organization Sea-Eye said on Saturday its Alan Kurdi rescue ship had picked up more than 100 migrants trying to reach Europe in the Mediterranean sea.
The crew rescued a total of 114 people from an inflatable vessel and a wooden boat, Sea-Eye said. Among those affected are eight children and eight women, one of whom was pregnant.
The migrants were "incredibly lucky" that the crew discovered them, said Gorden Isler, chairman of Sea-Eye. The Libyan Coast Guard and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) did not initially comment on the rescue, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.
According to Sea-Eye, neither the European rescue coordination centers nor the coast guard responded to the emergency reports by phone or email.
"In the meantime, all communication with aid organizations has been stopped and nobody in Europe sees themselves as responsible for these people. They will be delivered to the Libyans or the sea," said Jan Ribbeck from the Sea-Eye operations management team.
The Alan Kurdi vessel, which aims to rescue migrants in distress, has been operating once again in the Mediterranean for about a week.
Italian authorities impounded the ship in May claiming it had technical defects. The ship was later allowed to go to a Spanish port near Valencia for maintenance, where a week ago it was given permission to return to sea.
Refugees and migrants repeatedly attempt the dangerous crossing to Europe from Libya. According to the IOM, more than 590 people have died in the Mediterranean this year.