The SEA-WATCH 3 was called today at about 2 pm for an emergency at sea in international waters about 60 nautical miles north of Tripoli. To evaluate the situation and ensure that no one is drowning, the Sea-Watch speedboats were sent to the position ahead of our mothership. After about 4 hours the speedboats Tango and Delta met a dinghy in distress with 94 people on board, including a pregnant woman and several babies, as well as children who had been at sea since last night. A European helicopter was already circling on site. Meanwhile, the SEA-WATCH 3 had been informed by the rescue control centre in Rome that the Libyan Coast Guard was taking over the rescue. The Libyan Coast Guard instructed the SEA-WATCH 3 to leave the scene even though people were in distress and the Libyan Coast Guard ship was still far away. Sea-Watch first distributed life jackets to those in distress to ensure their survival and informed the Libyan Coast Guard that intervention was absolutely necessary. Since communication with the Libyan Coast Guard was not possible, Sea-Watch held back despite concerns and stayed within sight of the boat.
When the Libyan ship arrived, people jumped off the rubber dinghy into the water and shouted “No Libya”. The dinghy with the remaining persons on board moved alongside to our ship. The Libyan Coast Guard then ordered the SEA-WATCH 3 to take all persons on board. 94 persons are now on board, some of them were rescued directly from the water.