The Sea-Watch is ready to save lives again!
Friday 17 is considered a day of bad luck by Sicilians, yet superstition played second fiddle to what was another important date for Sea-Watch.
In the morning the ferry that links Lampedusa to Porto Empedocle, in Sicily, brought back the team’s mini-van containing the new life-rafts for the next mission. The driver, Majka Czapski, left Berlin on Monday and in four days went first to Denmark to collect the equipment, then down to Italy where she took a ferry connecting Genoa to Sicily, and finally to Lampedusa. Despite the exhausting journey, Majka assisted the crew with the loading of the life-rafts onto the boat in a collaborative effort which saw the team busy until late into the night. This shows the continuous and dedicated commitment of all the volunteers and professional figures involved in the Sea-Watch’s project. Indeed, Friday 17 was a very positive day for the process of team-building among the new crew, as well as for the continuation of the Sea-Watch’s action at sea.
The ship is now loaded with six life-rafts, five with a capacity of twenty-five persons plus a bigger one able to carry sixty-five persons. The life-rafts are encapsulated inflatable platforms which facilitate the safe transfer of rescued persons from their boat, usually an overcrowded dinghy.
The life-rafts allow the Sea-Watch crew to render assistance by providing a temporary yet safer environment for rescued persons during SAR operations. Rescued persons stay on board the life rafts under the aegis of Sea Watch personnel until the competent authorities reach their location and take over the situation. The loading of the new life-rafts represents one of the main steps preceding each new mission of the Sea-Watch, together with the handover of instructions from the old crew to the new one, the legal, medical and technical trainings and the replenishing of supplies and equipment. The vessel and crew are now set for the next mission, which will see the Sea-Watch leaving the harbour at the beginning of next week to fulfill the duty to rescue people in distress at sea in the Central Mediterranean.