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The humanitarian ship 'Louise Michel' financed by the British urban art artist Banksy has reported this Saturday that it is at maximum capacity and cannot move after the rescue of 219 migrants. In addition, he is carrying a deceased person on board, for which he has requested urgent help.
As the crew explained on Twitter, in the last rescue, in the boat they rescued last night they found a dead migrant on board and the rest of the people, who had been at sea for several days, suffered burns from the fuel.
The 'Louise Michel', who carries the German flag, alleges that he is at maximum capacity and that of the rescued migrants 33 are still on the barge and that due to the weight they cannot move and need "immediate help".
The 31-meter-long vessel has a crew of 10 and by Friday morning it had rescued another 89 people from a boat in distress.
The crew have contacted various European rescue agencies in Germany, Malta and Italy, which have for the moment ignored their emergency calls.
Yesterday, the Astral sailboat of the Spanish NGO Open Arms, which is also in the area, brought some food to 'Louis Michel'.
The ship, named after the 19th-century French anarchist and feminist Louise Michel, is located about 90 miles southeast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
It sailed a few days ago from the port of Burriana, in Spain, thanks to a donation from Banksy, who has also decorated the ship by painting it pink and with the image of a girl wearing a life jacket.
This ship joins the 'Sea-Watch 4', operated by the homonymous German NGO and Doctors without Borders, which six days ago rescued 201 migrants and is still awaiting a decision from the Italian and Maltese authorities to disembark.
On the other hand, off Malta, the merchant ship 'Etienne' continues to be denied permission to disembark the 27 people rescued 22 days ago.
Between August 22 and 24, 'Sea Watch 4' rescued the migrants who were on three barges. These days she had to request the urgent medical evacuation of a teenager with severe fuel burns.
In addition, this Friday the other Open Arms ship also set sail from Spain to join the rescue efforts in the central Mediterranean.
The Italian Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgerse, explained in an interview published this Saturday in the newspaper 'La Repubblica' that although there is an increasing trend in landings compared to 2019, the current figures do not represent an emergency.
"It is enough to make a comparison with 2011, the year of the Arab springs, in which some 30,000 Tunisians arrived in Italy while now 8,000 have arrived since the beginning of the year," he explained, adding that "logistical difficulties are linked to the measures of sanitary prophylaxis established for the Covid-19 ".
The Italian Ministry of the Interior, which updates the data daily, reported that 17,985 migrants landed as of this Friday , of these 7,067 in July and 3,968 so far this month.
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