The MV Aquarius 2 is a 1977-built research vessel. It has been chartered and operated since February 2016 by the NGOs SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors without Borders) as a rescue vessel for migrants and refugees making the Mediterranean crossing in makeshift craft from Libya to Italy as part of the European migrant crisis.
The operating groups were obliged to register the ship in Gibraltar and then Panama, one assumes because no European countries would accept it. Now it seems, in spite of accepting on to their books every kind of dodgy oil tanker and decrepit, unseaworthy rust-bucket crewed by seamen from the Third World, even those two puppet states of Western corporate interests have cancelled Aquarius’s registration.
Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık on Oct. 6 called for the protection of rescue ship Aquarius.
The Aquarius, operated by the SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), saves migrant lives in the Mediterranean Sea. It has faced a blockade for the second time.
The ship was de-flagged first by Gibraltar and recently Panama.
Kınık, who is also vice president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said in a statement that Aquarius “may continue its activities under the Turkish ensign.”
“We propose that Aquarius resumes its activities with the Turkish ensign. I believe our country, hosting today more than 4 million refugees will be an important part of a solution to this issue,” he said.
“Turkish Red Crescent has taken an initiative to support the Aquarius to continue sailing. The support tis needed to save more lives among those fleeing their countries and at risk of death while crossing the Mediterranean,” the statement added.
According to the statement Aquarius has been rescuing migrant lives in the Mediterranean Sea for the last three years.
It has saved 29,523 lives in the Mediterranean, a migration route for those seeking asylum in Europe.
According to Wikipedia: [The Aquarius] was flagged under the flag of convenience of Gibraltar since February 2018. On 6 August 2018 the Gibraltar Maritime Administration issued a “notice of removal” for the Aquarius, because she was registered as a survey vessel, but used as a rescue ship. As a result, the ship was warned that she would be removed from Gibraltar registry.
On 27 August 2018 the ship arrived in Marseille and its operator MSF announced, that the owner has applied for a registration of the vessel in another flag of convenience Panama on 20 August. However, on 22 September 2018 the maritime authority of Panama announced that it had initiated the procedures to remove the Aquarius (now renamed Aquarius 2) from its registry, quoting violations of international law in respect to migrants, rescue at sea and refusing to carry the migrants back to the area where they originated. The government of Panama had been informed by Italy and other sources that the Aquarius did not follow international legal proceedings concerning the transport of migrants, so it was decided to initiate the process to remove Aquarius 2 from Panama’s ship registry. Specifically, Aquarius has been accused of not returning the rescued migrants to Libya. As of that date the Aquarius was seeking a port to disembark the migrants, after having refused an earlier order from to transfer them from the Libyan coast guard.
According to Al Jazeera: The EU has to recognise that its war adventures caused the refugee crisis and start working on a real solution.