AQUARIUS 2.0? Migrant vessel ‘determined to go back to sea as soon as possible’

STOPOVER: The Aquarius is awaiting official flag CREDIT: Wikimedia commons

A PRIVATE ship, used by a humanitarian group to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, was forced to stopover in France while it waited for a new flag.

SOS Mediterranee’ missions were put on hold last Thursday as the Aquarius made a stopover in Marseille, but the crew said it was ‘determined to go back to sea as soon as possible’.

The group urged European governments to find a new flag to secure the ship’s future after Panama’s maritime authority removed the vessel’s registration.


The Aquarius transferred 58 migrants, who had been stuck at sea for 58 days, to a Maltese naval vessel last weekend. They were expected to be taken to four countries which agreed to accept them, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal.

Aquarius has been in the news over the past year for a series of rescues, and for being refused leave to land migrants in Italy, instead heading for Spain.

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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  1. This ship should never be allowed to sail ever again in the Med. All it does is collect illegal immigrants a few metres off the African coast and sail 3 days to get them to Europe ( Spain recently). If they were really interested in saving the illegals then why don’t they disembark them in Tunisia or Algeria both which are much, much closer than the Spanish or Italian coasts?
    In fact they are working hand in glove with the people smuggling mafia and must be stopped!


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