Banksy’s rescue ship, full of 219 migrants, flounders in the Mediterranean


A rescue boat funded by British street artist Banksy launched a series of urgent appeals for help on Saturday, claiming it was stranded in the Mediterranean, overloaded with migrants it was unable to bring ashore .The former French customs ship, covered with a pink paint by the artist, including a modified version of his famous “Girl With Balloon” in which the child now wears a life jacket and holds a buoy in the shape of a heart, sent several tweets on Friday and Saturday asking for help, Reuters reported.

« #LouiseMichel is unable to move, it is no longer in control, because of its overcrowded bridge and a life raft deployed at its side, but above all because Europe is ignoring our emergency calls for help immediate. The responsible authorities remain insensitive, ”the boat’s Twitter feed said on Saturday morning.

“We repeat, #LouiseMichel is unable to move safely and no one is coming to our aid, ”said another tweet sent three hours later. “The people rescued have suffered extreme trauma, it is time for them to be brought to a #PlaceOfSafety. We need immediate assistance. “

Late Friday, the boat began tweeting that it was reaching a “state of emergency” with 219 migrant refugees and 10 crew on board, as well as the body of a deceased migrant on the boat. ” The others have fuel burns, they have been at sea for days and now they are left alone in a #ME (!) Search and rescue area. Don’t let that become a body count. Do your job. Save them, ”the crew tweeted on Friday night.

He also tweeted a series of claimed contacts with authorities in Malta, Italy and Germany which resulted in no assistance, as well as a video of the ship’s overcrowded deck showing dozens of migrants crammed together, under -titled: “TheThese are the survivors you turn your back on #ME. After escaping untold horror and inhumanity, they need a place of safety.

Louise Michel, named after a French feminist anarchist, began operations last week. It has picked up migrants off the Libyan coast since Thursday.

Banksy also posted a video on Instagram explaining that, like many successful artists, he “bought a yacht to sail the Mediterranean”. The ship was “converted into a lifeboat” because EU authorities “willfully ignore distress calls,” the video said, showing footage of migrants being pulled from the water.

“All Black Live Matter”, the video ends.


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