In the afternoon of Wednesday 3rd May, 2023 the 1973 built Migrant Rescue Ship SEA WATCH 3 arrived at Ghent, Belgium for breaking up.
She was built at Shin Shimoda Dock at Shizuoka at Japan in 1973 with yard number 211 as an offshore supply ship ALEGRETE for Companhia Brasileira de Offshore, Brazil trading until 1995, SEABOARD SWIFT until 1995, HORNBECK SWIFT until 1996 with Hornbeck Offshore Ltd, UK; SWIFT until 1998, SWIFT I until 2004 (of which she was seen at Malta). Then she was sold to Vroon Offshore Services (VOS) and renamed as VOS SOUTHWIND seeing here in the old livery as per below –
And with the current VOS livery –
Trading until 2010 she remained in the same country – Netherlands. She was sold to Rederij Groen BV and renamed as FURORE G.
In 2015 she was acquired by Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF) and converted her role into a migrant rescue ship and renamed DIGNITY I.
In 2019 she was acquired by another NGO involved in rescuing illegal immigrants – SEA WATCH and renamed as SEA WATCH 3.
When she called at Malta her mooring place was always at Bezzina Ship Repair Yard (BSRY).
Bezzina Ship Repair Yard (BSRY) is part of BEZZINA GROUP – www.bezzinagroup.com which they are our SPONSORS too.
During 2019 , the vessel was detained by the Italian Authorities of which her 31 year old Captain Carola Rackete was also arrested and brought to court after she defied authorities including ramming Guardia Di Finanza (GdiF) patrol boat and brought 41 African citizens to shore.
In July 2019 the judge Alessandra Vella overseeing the case freed the captain Carola Rackete from the ship SEA WATCH 3 ruling that she did not break the law when she forced her way past an Italian naval blockade to enter the port of Lampedusa with a group of refugees.
According to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) SEA WATCH 3 started operation in July 2017. She was detained at the port of Licata (Sicily) in May 2019 and from June to December 2019.
Denied to leave the port of Catania (Sicily) from January to February 2019 and in Malta from July to October 2018.
Detained at Porto Empedocle (Sicily) since July 2020 and allowed to proceed to shipyard in port of Burriana (Spain) in Sept. 2020. Released in February 2021.
Detained in port of Augusta (Sicily) in March 2021 and allowed to proceed to shipyard in port of Burriana (Spain) in May 2021.
Resumed rescue operations at the end of July 2021.