Wendland sailing boat reinforces emergency aid in the Mediterranean Sea

Today, a new ship departed from Sicily to support the Civilian Sea Rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. The sailboat of the CompassCollective from Wendland will search the Mediterranean Sea between Lampedusa and Tunisia with six crew members for sea emergencies and in case of a sighting, stabilize the people and boats in distress, as well as alert the Italian coast guard to counteract the deaths on the Mediterranean Sea.

For months, the CompassCollective has been working toward this day. The Trotamar III, a 13-meter maneuverable sailboat has been outfitted in recent weeks for maritime emergency response: On board, 230 life jackets are quickly accessible in the front cabin; two long rescue hoses (centifloats) are attached to the side of the bow to be quickly lowered into the water at any time; five life rafts are waiting to be used. Also included are 300 liters of drinking water in handy 0.5-liter bottles, as well as muesli bars, as emergency rations for fugitives on the water.

The initial response crew, ranging in age from 28 to 67, consists of two members with rescue experience on ships from the rescue organizations Sea Eye and Sea Watch, the others have a lot of sailing experience and have a lot of sailing experience and bring their know-how as technicians, lifeboat drivers, cooks or in awareness work. In addition, an Italian woman is on board to facilitate communication with the Italian coast guard. with the Italian coast guard. Head of Deployment is Matthias Wiedenlübbert, one of the initiators of the CompassCollective.

The crew’s target area is the escape route between Tunisia and Lampedusa. Every day, people leave their homes to flee war, persecution, torture, hunger, misery or rape. They flee out of hopelessness and despair. They flee because their lives are threatened. They leave their families, friends and beloved regions of their homeland and set out on their journey. Their plight is exacerbated by the structural and personal violence that refugees experience on their way. The whole of North Africa, especially the civil war country of Libya and, since the new migration policy, Tunisia, is a stopover for hundreds of thousands of refugees, and their lives are increasingly threatened. There are no legal routes through which threatened people can reach safety.

Katja Tempel, from CompassCollective criticizes the state’s policy of closure:

„We consider the EU’s internal and external borders to be institutionalized racism. The Mediterranean Sea is becoming a European mass grave. We cannot allow this to happen. Europe is trampling on people’s dignity and thus on our own. For this reason, we do not accept that people are left alone in their plight to flee and drown in the sea because of our economic interests, our ignorance and our intolerance. That is why we are sending a ship“.

The reinforcement of the Civil Fleet in the Mediterranean comes from Wendland, the region in Lower Saxony that for 40 years was marked by the dispute over nuclear energy. In the end, civil society protest was able to prevent a nuclear waste repository in Gorleben and now provides the tailwind to sail in solidarity against isolation and death in the Mediterranean.

We would be happy to provide you with interview partners from the crew.
You can find pictures on https://compass-collective.org/presse

For further information and inquiries:
Katja Tempel
+49 160 44 00 206

Die Crew des ersten Einsatzes ab 25.8.2023