BoatSpotting in the Mediterranean Sea

The Wendland sends a ship!

CompassCollective activists support the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean. Our sailing boat TROTAMAR III is used for three-week observation deployments, during which we document human rights violations, keep an eye out for maritime emergencies and assist in rescue missions by larger (rescue) ships. In an emergency, we rescue.

We are a small group of activists from the Wendland, a region in Lower Saxony, Germany. After 40 years of fighting against a nuclear waste repository in Gorleben, we send our own boat with an international crew to support the sea rescue.

25.8.2023 - Leaving Licata

contact for press

Katja Tempel

Tel. +49 160 4400206



15. March 2024

On our way back to Lampedusa, we received another distress call: around 80 people on an unseaworthy boat needed help. They were not far from the coast of Lampedusa. We set course and before we reached our destination, we were able to see all the people being rescued by the Italian coastguard. Our course now…

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14. March 2024

After hours of anxiously waiting for help for the 56 people in distress at sea and with no response from the responsible state authorities, a spotlight suddenly appeared on the horizon. It was a rescue ship of the Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera), which took the refugees safely on board. We would like to thank…

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13. March 2024

UPDATE 2024/03/13, 9:30pm – TROTAMAR III – SUPPORT FROM SOS Méditerranée In the evening, the crew of the TROTAMAR III was able to stabilize around 100 people on a boat in distress by handing out life jackets. After a few hours, the civilian rescue ship OCEAN VIKING from the NGO SOS Méditerranée reached the scene…

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Every day, people flee their homes to escape 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, is a stopover for hundreds of thousands of refugees that has turned into a living hell. There are no legal routes through which threatened people can reach safety.

The right to asylum includes the right to free movement. For years, European nation states have trampled on these rights. "Fortress Europe" is defended, with more and more border troops and fences. We consider the EU internal and external borders institutionalized racism. The Mediterranean Sea acts like a fence. There is no getting through except at the risk of one's life.

There are no illegal people and no second-class people. Regardless of origin, every human being has an inviolable dignity and thus the right to life, to physical integrity, to sexual self-determination and to practice one's own religion. For this reason, we do not accept that people are left alone in their distress while fleeing and drowning in the sea because of our economic interests, our ignorance and our intolerance.

We place our work in the global context of criticism of structural injustice, exploitation, oppression and capitalist economic and thought structures. We stand in solidarity with all emancipatory movements worldwide.


We join the community of the "civil fleet", the civilian sea rescue in the Mediterranean.

  • We want to save people fleeing across the Mediterranean from death by drowning or dying of thirst and alleviate their immediate distress.
  • We document human rights violations in the central Mediterranean.
  • We inform with our work and thus draw attention to the fates of fleeing people and the humanitarian catastrophe in the Mediterranean.


Borderless - because we consider nation states and capitalist structures of exploitation to be one of the foundations of racism and policies of closure in Europe. At the moment, our only option is to move our own borders, to set out and support people at the EU's external borders in the Mediterranean.

We are activists from the Wendland who are experienced in action. We have gained alliance experience in the confrontation with nuclear policy; we can network and enter into dialogue with the opposite side; we can de-escalate situations; we have decades of experience with grassroots democracy and the consensus principle. And yet we are open and curious about a new field of action and look forward to new insights, new cooperation, teamwork and our own growth, not only with the intention of bringing about political change, but also to be able to act ourselves - against the powerlessness and despair that sometimes befalls us.

BoatSpotting is a campaign of the CompassCollective.


The CompassCollective is a project of the non-profit association Grenzenlos - People in Motion e.V. - which we founded in 2015 together with friends to support refugees.

More information about the association:


Katja Tempel and Matthias Wiedenlübbert on board of the "Trotamar III" in Feb '23

BoatSpotting needs support!

Starting in August 2023, we take three-week observation deployments off Lampedusa, during which human rights violations will be documented, sea emergencies will be watched for, and rescue missions by larger (rescue) ships will be assisted.

You have experience on a sailing ship and in the best case already in sea rescue and can imagine to support the crew on the Trotamar III?

Contact us at