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Mediterranean search and rescue vessels should not be hindered from life-saving work - Anderson

18 September, 2018 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said those engaged in life saving work in the Mediterranean should not be hindered in their work. 

Speaking from Malta, Martina Anderson said: 

"As part of the European Parliament's LIBE committee delegation to Malta I had the opportunity to meet with members of Sea-Watch, a civil search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean and to go out in one of their boats to see at first hand what they do. 

"I spoke to crew members about what they do and the literally thousands of people they have saved from a certain death in the Mediterranean. 

"I also went out in a small boat at night to get an idea of the conditions they work in and the excellent humanitarian work they are engaged in. 

"SeaWatch vessels regularly get stopped and held by the authorities while they are attempting to go about their vital life-saving work and crew members face the potential of criminal charges as a result of what they are doing. 

"I saw boats laden with medical supplies and ready to go out on live-saving missions but prevented from doing so because they are detained in port. 

"I am calling on the Maltese Prime Minister to intervene and give permission for SeaWatch search and rescue boats to leave port and carry on their work. 

"I have signed a joint letter to the Maltese Prime Minister alongside other MEPs and to call an end to the detention of search and rescue boats and aircraft." 

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