The ship will resume rescue missions in the Mediterranean in 2021
The Italian authorities have withdrawn the seizure order that had weighed for five months against the rescue boat for migrants ‘Ocean Viking’, so it will be able to resume its missions in the Mediterranean , according to Europa Press.
This has been explained by the NGO SOS Mediterranée through a statement, where it has detailed that this December 21, “after a third inspection in five months by the Italian coastguards, it was considered that the ‘Ocean Viking’ complied with the interpretation of the safety regulations of ships by the Italian authorities “, for which the” arrest of the ship “was lifted.
In early December, modifications were made to the ship’s emergency equipment to comply with the requirements imposed by Italy that led to the ship’s arrest.
For this, they have added eight life rafts, additional emergency life jackets and immersion suits to use in case the ‘Ocean Viking’ has to be abandoned for safety reasons in a very short period of time and with passengers on board.
Italy lifts embargo on ‘Ocean Viking’. Currently, the ship is in the Sicilian port of Augusta, although the NGO has indicated that “soon” it will leave for Marseille to re-supply itself and embark rescue and medical teams.
The members of the NGO team will keep a ten-day quarantine and will be tested for covid-19 before the return of the ‘Ocean Viking’ to the sea.
SOS Mediterranée has noted in the letter that both his arrest and the policies of the Italian authorities have meant “a gap in rescue resources at sea and have had lethal consequences for people in distress.” He has also been “relieved to be able to return to sea and resume search and rescue operations in 2021.”
So far, five humanitarian NGO vessels are still unable to operate due to administrative blockades , which is why they are calling for the embargoes imposed against them to also be lifted to “fill the deadly vacuum left by European states in the central Mediterranean.”