The Sea-Watch came back from its third patrol in the Mediterranean on Wednesday at 10 am. The team based in the camp welcomed the crew at the harbour of “Porto Vecchio” in Lampedusa. I was expecting everybody to jump out of the boat but all crew members were hesitant to do so. Putting their feet back on land feels like leaving to much behind, ending a journey that has just begun. They are needed out there, in the open sea, we all are.
104 persons rescued, 25 women 3 of whom pregnant, 3 children. These the numbers for this mission. The technicalities of the operation are then nuanced with the stories and anecdotes that give a peculiar trait to each mission of the Sea-Watch, as a very much human experience.
The Sea-Watch experimented a new course which shifted more towards East and patrolled in the area adjacent to the 24 nautical miles from the Libyan coast. The crew has established contact with the other private boats and organizations patrolling the Mediterranean as MSF and Watch the Med, as well as with the competent authorities as Guardia Costiera and acted under the guidance of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome .
We are now getting ready for the next patrol, to start early next week. The new crew reached Lampedusa and is undertaking the nautical and medical handover procedures with the old crew, as well as the technical, legal and psychological trainings with the Sea-Watch experts on the island.
The arrivals included five new members joining the team based in Lampedusa, to support logistics and the management of the camp on one hand, and provide specialised technical support on the ship on the other. The Sea-Watch Team is growing with the project, in line with the objective to improve and enhance the capacity of Sea-Watch to fulfill the duty to rescue lives in danger at sea.