Detention in Palermo
The 'Sea Watch 4', after assisting the Spanish Open Arms NGO vessel 'Open Arms' with the transfer of migrants off the port of Palermo, was forced to enter the port for COVID 19 disinfection and isolation purposes, and subsequently was detained after a Port State Control which lasted 11 hours on Sep 18, 2020. Officials had justified the measure by saying saving people was not in accordance with the ship's registration. Among other things, the Italian authorities objected that the vessel had too many life jackets on board and that the sewage system was not adequate for the number of people rescued. The inspection was critizied for not being a matter of checking the ship's safety, but a deliberate measure to prevent civilians carrying out sea rescues in the central Mediterranean,, according to Philipp Hahn, head of operations on the Sea-Watch 4. Another of the groups operating the ship, United4Rescue, said that German authorities had confirmed to the Sea-Watch NGO in July that the ship met all safety requirements. It was the fifth time that a civilian rescue ship has been thus impounded. The 'Sea-Watch 3' was confined to port for almost six months in 2019.
Migrants to be landed in Palermo
On Sep 2 at 4 p.m. the 'Sea-Watch 4' was due to dock in Palermo with 353 rescued migrants on board. They were suffering from fatigue and multiple trauma. The ship has on board a crew of 28, among them doctors. The situation on board was tense, but to handle. After the arrival in port the people aboard will be quarantined for two weeks.
Boy with burns medevaced
A boy has been evacuated from the 'Sea Watch 4' while more than 200 migrants remained on the vessel stranded off Sicily. On Aug 25 the Italian Coastguard medevaced the boy who was suffering from severe fuel burns caused by a mix of salt water and engine fuel. He was taken to hospital after medical staff on board the 'Sea-Watch 4' said the severity of his condition exceeded the capacity of emergency facilities on board. The migrant ship meanwhile waits for permission to be assigned to a safe port. Both Italy and Malta have refused its entry. Over 90 of the castaways had been given emergency showers for exposure to the fuel used to power the engine whih generates noxious fumes and is highly corrosive when mixed with salt water. On Aug 25 the medical team was continuing to monitor for the development of burns as well as following up with more than 30 people who had acute hypothermia.Upload News