La ONG alemana Mission Lifeline, que opera el barco de rescate ‘Lifeline’, envió una carta vía correo electrónico al Gobierno español el pasado jueves, firmada por su fundador, Axel Steier, horas después de rescatar a más de 200 personas migrantes en aguas internacionales del Mediterráneo y “de acuerdo con todas las regulaciones internacionales”.

Mission Lifeline ha trasladado el contenido de esta carta a la senadora de Izquierda Unida Vanessa Angustia para que facilite su difusión en nuestro país. La parlamentaria gallega de IU llegó a Malta ayer domingo por la tarde e, inmediatamente después, gestionó su trasladó al ‘Lifeline’, a la deriva desde el jueves al tener prohibido atracar en ningún puerto de Malta o Italia. Ya en el buque pudo conocer de primera mano la delicada situación en la que se encuentran las personas migrantes a bordo del mismo.

A continuación reproducimos directamente el texto que la ONG envió por correo electrónico el jueves en inglés al Gobierno español y, en el archivo adjunto, la carta traducida al castellano.

To the Spanish Government

The Dutch flagged vessel LIFELINE, operated by the German NGO MISSION LIFELINE has rescued 234 people this morning, far in international waters and in line with all international regulations. LIFELINE is on its way north, currently at the position 13.3 N 013° 35 E COG 0° SOG, 3,9 kn. Nearby is the Cargo Ship Atlantic M on 34°12.3 N 013° 26.7 E.

The LIFELINE was the best equipped asset in the area at the moment the shipwreck occurred this morning. In contrast, the vessels of the Libyan Coast Guard are not equipped with enough live saving equipment, such as life jackets for the people to be rescued. Furthermore there is no medical personal on board the Libyan vessel.

Also they were not present at the moment and the boats have been SOLAS cases with the need for immediate response. Therefore the captain of the LIFELINE had to take the people on board out of a state of necessity.

As no Port of Safety is assigned yet and no IMO certified MRCC took responsibility, MISSION LIFELINE fears that a similar situation to the Aquarius one week ago could be on the horizon.

We are grateful to Spain, as the single European state to take responsibility in this humanitarian crisis, however the days long journey the Aquarius had to make to reach Valencia and the decreasing medical condition of the people aboard during the transit have proven that this can not really be considered an option for the smaller LIFELINE.

The Spanish government nevertheless is the only one we can count on in this very moment. These following options could prevent the already tense humanitarian situation to deteriorate:

• The Spanish government could provide humanitarian visa to a contingent of 234 survivors on board the LIFELINE due to the urgency of the situation and the state of necessity under which the people were taken on board.

• In addition to that, the Spanish government could negotiate on a bilateral Level with Malta to facilitate the landing of the LIFELINE people to be further transported to Spain via aircraft. Malta would be preferred as a Port of Safety as it is closer than Italy and a landing could probably be agreed much easier under the condition, that the asylum seekers can travel further to Spain.

• Alternatively, the Spanish MRCC could take the responsibility for the SAR cases and authorise a transshipment to the Atlantic M.

We are more than grateful for your support already now and we really hope the Spanish government might help to find a humanitarian solution for this urgent situation in order to get those people to a place of safety,

Yours sincerely

Axel Steier, Founder Mission Lifeline and the rest of the Lifeline team


Izquierda Unida