On Tuesday 4th August a boat with 27 illegal immigrants were rescued by the 2004 built chemical/oil products tanker MAERSK ETIENNE while she was underway to Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabes coming from Genoa, Italy.
On Wednesday 5th August late afternoon she was denied entry to Maltese territorial waters especially when SAR was made in the Tunisian SAR area and dropped anchors at Hurd Bank Area.
MAERSK ETIENNE was built in 2004 by Jinling Shipyard at Nanjing, China as the BRO ETIENNE and in October 2009 she was renamed to her current name after she was purchased by Maersk Tankers.
The tanker has requested to disembark the migrants in Malta of which it was denied by the Maltese authorities. It was the NGO Alarm Phone that received confirmation from Maersk that her vessel MAERSK ETIENNE rescued the 27 immigrants and was on her way to Malta. According to the NGO the illegal immigrants had been at sea for 36 hours.
Meanwhile on Sunday 6th September, 2020 has escalated after 3 illegal immigrants had jumped overboard. The vessel’s crew managed to recover the 3 souls and were being given treatment. “We continue to plead for urgent humanitarian assistance for the 27 migrants stranded aboard ETIENNE ,” Maersk Tankers said on social media.
Robert Maersk Uggla, the CEO of A.P. Moller Holding, took to social media last week in a bid to end the stalemate. “While many of us acknowledge the challenging political considerations, we are desperately awaiting Malta and Denmark to find a solution for the refugees, with EU or other relevant parties, so the ship and her crew are released.” Uggla wrote. Malta for its part has responded saying the issue onboard is now one for Danish authorities to resolve.
On Monday 7th September, 2020 the European Commission stated that it does not have the legal jurisdiction to enter the conflict about which country should accept the 27 rescued illegal immigrants that are stuck aboard MAERSK ETIENNE. Denmark may have to accept the migrants, Danish political parties say, although minister rejects the notion. Meanwhile the Danish government started talks with Tunisia about the fate of the illegal immigrants.
On Friday 11th September, 2020 all 27 souls were transferred from the Maersk tanker to the NGO Mediterranea rescue ship MARE JONIO outside territorial waters (otw)
On Saturday 12th September at 1825 hrs afternoon MARE JONIO with the illegal immigrants aboard was assigned for disembarkation at Pozzallo Port after MRCC Rome have assigned Pozzallo as a safe port due to health reasons after the Ministry of the Interior and the Guardia Costiera gave the green light.
At 2105 hrs MARE JONIO started entering Pozzallo Port.
By 2125 hrs she was berthed –
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Published – Saturday 12th September, 2020