Watch: 101 asylum seekers remain stranded on board Lifeline’s vessel

Credit: Jonathan Schörnig

101 people that were rescued by German civil search and rescue organisation Mission Lifeline’s vessel, Eleonore, are still awaiting a port of safety outside Maltese territorial waters. The rescued asylum seekers are on board a 20m sailing boat and have been there for 6 days.

The 101 individuals were rescued at sea from a deflating dinghy and transferred to Eleonore.

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A spokesperson for Mission Lifeline said that the situation on board has deteriorated, adding that everyone is suffering, both crew and the people rescued alike, awaiting for a safe port where they could disembark. The spokesperson stressed that the crew is working round the clock giving care to those on board. However they added that “they cannot go on much longer without sleep”.

The movement on board the Eleonore is very limited, adding that the “claustrophobic environment means that the general mood is hanging in balance”.

Germany has initiated contact with the European Commission to initiate talks among willing Member States in order to disembark the people on board safely and relocate them to other European states.

In one of its letters to the Maltese and European authorities, Mission Lifeline, explained that ‘we are not in a position to manage a prolonged stand-off and, in order not to unduly strain your reception system, we ask for urgent diplomatic support to pressure for a fair solution based on EU solidarity and responsibility-sharing.’

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