Monday, 18 October, 2021


Banksy-funded Mediterranean rescue boat calls for urgent help

Banksy funds a rescue boat to save refugees trying to reach Europe British street artist Banksy funds refugee rescue boat
Bennie Garza | 29 August, 2020, 20:10

But despite its hip exterior, it's not a pleasure craft.

So considerably in 2020, much more than 500 refugees and migrants are acknowledged to have died in the Mediterranean sea, and the actual quantity is approximated to be significantly larger.

Another said the boat was unable to move and was "no longer the master of her own destiny" due to her overcrowded deck.

The ship, the MV Louise Michel, appealed for help and a safe port Saturday, saying that it had rescued so many people that it could no longer safely navigate.

Painted in white and bright pink and featuring a Banksy artwork of a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped flotation device, Louise Michel is said to have set sail in secrecy from a Spanish port of Burriana, near Valencia.

Banksy has highlighted the plight of refugees and migrants in past works.

Banksy's has been involved in rescuing migrants at sea since last September, when he emailed German born activist Pia Klemp who has captained a number of NGO rescue ships.

The 31-metre vessel's crew said it was overcrowded and unable to move after encountering another boat attempting to cross the expanse dividing Europe and Africa with 130 people on board.

They accuse Italian and Maltese authorities of ignoring their calls for immediate assistance. "We need immediate assistance", another said.

It's now in the central Mediterranean where on Thursday it rescued 89 people in distress, including 14 women and four children. The former French patrol boat is named after a French feminist anarchist and comparatively faster than other rescue vessels, according to The Guardian.

Activists with experience in search and rescue are crewing the boat which has also already helped with two other operations that rescued more than 100 people.

"Like most people who make it in the art world, I bought a yacht to cruise the Med", Banksy wrote on Instagram Saturday in captions accompanying a video of the ship mixed with footage of people stranded at sea.

She said the email read: "Hello Pia, I've read about your story in the papers".

Klemp made clear that Banksy's involvement in the operations is limited just to providing financial backing.

Klemp told the Guardian that she hopes the boat will "outrun the so-called Libyan coastguard before they get to boats with refugees and migrants and pull them back to the detention camps in Libya". Refugee advocates have accused some European countries of using the novel coronavirus as a pretext for stopping migration, such as preventing nongovernmental organization rescue boats from docking.

The vessel had left Spain on August 18 on a secret mission to rescue migrants.

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