17. Dezember 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Deutsches Containerschiff rettete trotz Aufforderung nicht · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags: , , ,

German vessel is „MV ALEMANIA“, registered with IMO number 9105009 and MMSI 304010613 is container ship. She is currently sailing under the flag of Antigua & Barbuda. See vesselfinder

Owner is the german BBC Chartering (Wikipedia.org) according to the dutch shipping company Spliethoff (I could not find the Alemania on the list of the BBC site but I guess the information is correct)


On the 5th of december the dutch cargo vessel the Erasmusgracht saved 393 Syrians (including 70 children) 250 miles south east of Salento, the „heel“ of the Italian „boot“, in the Ionic sea between Greece and Italy.
The 60 meter long vessel carrying the Syrians was – according to the dutch captain Joop van Zadel – so old it was sent on its last voyage. The boat left from Egypt for Italy and was abandonned with a non-functioning motor by the crew who left on a motor boat. The boat was then drifting for 2 days, happily with good weather. ”Otherwise they would not have survived and the rescue operation would not have been so successful as now.”

On the 5th of december at 4pm the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Rome contacted the Erasmusgracht, on its way from Turkey to Poland, concerning a boat in distress which was detected by a coast guard plane (probably
Frontex). The Erasmusgracht went sailing to the location – “according to international sea rules” – and arrived at 6pm. Two other boats who had been contacted by the MRCC – one of them a german one – were already there when the dutch boat arrived. The Erasmusgracht positioned itself alongside the boat with the refugees. After two hours it was clear that the people who were in panic needed direct help. The captain of the Erasmusgracht asked the german captain for assistance. Captain Van Zadel: “I clearly asked the other commercial ships for assistence. The answer was: No, thank you. Do it yourself.” Captain Van Zadel took contact with the legal department of its owner, the transport company Spliethoff, to check what had to be done and “whether it is played fairly”. When the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Rome gave green light, the Erasmusgracht crew of 15 members took the 393 migrants on board. Some of them, including women and children, were in a bad shape. They had food on board but nothing to drink. Several had drunk sea water and had symptoms of dehydration. After an hour of steaming direction Sicily the Erasmusgracht was met by the Icelandic coastal patrol vessel Týr – part of the Frontex operation Triton – with four paramedics who went aboard to assist during the night and to help the wounded. End of the afternoon on the 6th of December the Erasmusgracht got permission to enter the harbour of Catania on Sicily where the refugees were taken off board. In the Iceland news it is said that the Icelandic coast guard vessel Týr
‚rescued‘ the 393 Syrians (icelandreview.com)

The shipping company Spliethoff, owner of the Erasmusgracht, said to be certainly pleased and relieved that the refugees were rescued. „We have at least done what you should do in a case like this.“

According to Spliethoff each ship should comply with a distress call, but this does not always happen, it often happens that foreign shipping companies do not react to distress call. „They don’t feel like it“ said the spokesman of company Spliethoff. The spokesman told the dutch national broadcaster NOS the german merchant ship had refused to help the boat people and sailed away. It had reacted to the distress call, was present near boat but did not not want to ’share‘ the responsibility.

In my contact with the Spliethoff (I did not receive the telnr of the dutch captain and did noty speak to him directly) i thanked them for their rescue mission and their statement. I had some difficulties to get information concerning the german boat from them as the BBC Chartering is a direct competitor of the Sliethoff.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: Dutch merchant ship picks up 320 migrants drifting in Mediterranean Sea


More Dutch news:

with pictures and interview captain in dutch incl. complaint on german boat on audio “we moesten die mensen helpen“ (we had to help these people) and in news-clip:

Plantage Doklaan 12
1018 CM Amsterdam
tel 020-3795236

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