Banksy’s boat rescues migrant
British street artist Banksy has sponsored a rescue boat to help migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Sea Watch International announced it on August 28 on Twitter by posting a picture of a pink boat with a drawing of a girl holding a heart-shaped float, which has been painted by the artist.
The German-flagged boat is a former French boat named “Louise Michel” after a French anarchist and leading figure in the Paris commune in the 19th century. The crew is made up of 10 members, and the captain is a 36-year-old German biologist and activist, Pia Klemp, who has captained several NGO ships and was indicted by Italy for encouraging illegal immigration.
The vessel made the first rescue operations in mid-August. It saved 89 people from a rubber boat on August 27 and assisted another 130 people on August 29, sheltering over 200 people in total. After sending a call for help, over 150 people were transferred from the Banksy’s boat to another rescue ship, the SeaWatch4, which currently has about 350 people on board looking for safety.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) had demanded the immediate disembarkation of nearly 400 migrants who have been rescued in recent days by three ships in the central Mediterranean, including the “Louise Michel”.