Anti-migrant ship Defend Europe rescued in Mediterranean after issuing distress call


Generation Identity is a far-right group that wants to prevent refugees from coming to Europe by intercepting the humanitarian ships working in the Mediterranean Sea.

"To help a ship in distress in the duty of anyone at sea, without regard for their origin, race, religion or beliefs", Sea-Eye Chairman Michael Buschheuer said.

Defend Europe previously accused Sea-Eye, and other groups, of "colluding" with Libyan human traffickers. Turkish Cypriot authorities deported nine crew members, including the captain, and a German "second captain" alleged to be a neo-Nazi.

Shortly before the project launched, a spokeswoman for SOS Mediterranee, which operates the Aquarius rescue ship, told Reuters.

However, in several tweets, Generation Identity's "Defend Europe" campaign and Southern herself have insisted that they turned off their main engine in order to fix a technical problem before entering the "search and rescue" zone off Libya. The banner the group proudly unfurled on the boat earlier this month plainly states, "You will not make Europe home".

An ironic chapter in the migrant crisis unfolded in the Mediterranean on Friday as a migrant rescue ship was called to the aid of an anti-immigration ship operated by a far-right group.

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A Facebook post published by the refugee rescue operation Sea-Eye indicated the C-Star was "in distress at sea", and the Italian marine rescue service (MRCC) had dispatched their ship to assist them as it was the closest.

Defend Europe confirmed its ship was suffering a "minor technical problem" that was being resolved.

NGO Sea-Eye, founded in 2015, has the goal of saving "the lives of refugees in distress during their perilous escape to Europe".

"This meant that under under [international regulations] the vessel is considered 'not under command'". After explaining the issue, they concluded "t$3 he problem is about to be resolved".

The troubles for Defend Europe didn't stop there.