Seefuchs at sea. Credit: Sea-Eye website
Seefuchs at sea. Credit: Sea-Eye website

Sea-Eye has announced its second migrant search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean. Consequently, its ship Seefuchs and the Aquarius operated by Sos Mediterranee are the only two NGO vessels currently conducting migrant SAR operations.

The German NGO Sea-Eye has announced its second migrant search-and-rescue (SAR) mission in the Mediterranean. 

On March 28, the Seefuchs set sail from Malta with a crew of 10 to search for migrant boats in difficulty in the SAR area off the Libyan coast. 

Insults and threats follow announcement 

Sea-Eye has reported receiving violent messages and threats on social networks following the announcement of its new SAR mission and has called for respect for its activities and volunteer staff. 

The NGO was established by Michael Buschheuer and a group of relatives and friends in autumn 2015 with the aim of saving the lives of refugees making the dangerous sea crossing to Europe. It purchased two 26-m fishing boats, the Sea-Eye and the Seefuchs, which were re-equipped to perform SAR missions. 

The organization has saved 13,284 lives since it launched operations in April 2016. 

Two NGOs conducting SAR missions 

In a statement, Sea-Eye has said that, besides the Aquarius operated by the NGO SOS Méditerranée, its ship is the only humanitarian vessel operating in this part of the Mediterranean. Over 350 people have drowned since the start of the year. 

Meanwhile, the ship operated by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms is still impounded in Italy. "The threat from the Libyan coast guard and the attempts by the Italian judiciary to stop private sea rescues cannot prevent us from fulfilling our humanitarian duty," Sea-Eye founder Buschheuer has said.

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