Italian authorities have been asked by the Netherlands to keep the NGO migrant rescue ship Sea Watch 3 in the port of Catania. The decision followed an inspection by Dutch authorities earlier this week.
The Netherlands has asked Italian authorities to keep the German NGO migrant rescue ship Sea Watch 3, which flies a Dutch flag, in the port of Catania, where it has been docked since January 31. The request was made to the Italian Coast Guard following an inspection aboard the ship by Dutch authorities, "pending the conclusion by Dutch authorities of further checks of the ship's conformity to regulations in force, with reference to its suitability for transport of an elevated number of people for long periods of time."
The Italian Coast Guard said the Sea Watch 3 was first inspected on January 31, the day it arrived at the port of Catania. The inspection was conducted by technicians specialised in maritime security, who carried out a technical check of the ship's conditions as set forth by the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). The inspection revealed a number of "non-compliance" issues (the Coast Guard found 32 anomalies, ed.) related both to maritime navigation security and protection of the marine environment.
The Coast Guard said the ship's crew is "carrying out the work necessary to restore conditions of security and environmental protection". Another inspection was carried out by Dutch authorities, who then asked the Coast Guard to keep the Sea Watch 3 at port in Catania, pending further checks on the ship's conformity to the county's regulations.