Banksy-funded rescue boat needs ‘immediate assistance’


The “Louise Michel”, a former French Navy boat, helped rescue 89 people on Thursday, according to a spokesperson for the ship.

Her crew of 10 subsequently helped 130 others, including “many women and children,” a message on the boat’s Twitter account said on Friday evening.

The message added that the boat was “reaching a state of emergency” and needed “immediate assistance”.

The ship said in a series of tweets on Saturday that it was “unable to move” due to its “overcrowded deck”, saying no European coastguard had responded to its calls for help. CNN is unable to independently verify this claim.

Thirty-three of the passengers remain “on a life raft” with a deceased person in a body bag, the Twitter account added.Referring to the refugees it protects, the boat said they had “suffered extreme trauma” and had to reach a “place of safety”.

In an update posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, the Louise Michel said her crew were still waiting for help half a day later.

“The crew has managed to keep #LouiseMichel stable for almost 12 hours now. Our new friends told us that they had already lost 3 friends during their trip. Including the corpse of our only liferaft, 4 lives were lost because of Fortress Europe, ”he said in his last tweet.

The pink ship, named after a French anarchist and bought by Banksy on the proceeds of one of his works of art, aims to “enforce maritime law and save anyone in danger without prejudice”, according to the site Internet of the project.

The artist spray-painted the boat with a fire extinguisher and also created a work of art of a girl in a life jacket, which is shown reaching out for a heart-shaped lifebuoy.

The image resembles the artist’s famous “Girl with Balloon” stencil murals.

In addition to being customized for search and rescue operations, the Louise Michel is “commanded and managed by a team of rescue professionals from across Europe,” the boat’s website added.

It is 30 meters long and can travel at a speed of 28 knots per hour.

CNN’s Sara Spary and Oscar Holland contributed to this report.


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