Southern Neighbourhood
European countries

Since March 20, the Mediterranean rescue ship “Ocean Seeking” has been harbored in Marseille after the disruption caused by COVID-19 to their sailing to rescue what could be saved from migrants in the middle of the sea.

After blocking the ports of Italy and Malta from anchoring any boats before the imposition of compulsory quarantine on board, it became impossible to continue rescue operations.

All this did not prevent the “Sea Watch 3” from sailing on June 17 to save 165 African migrants, who were on the verge of drowning off the Libyan coast, while searches for another boat of migrants on the coast continued.

Rescue ships chose extensive media coverage of their activities until it became clear to international public opinion that the COVID-19 crisis did not prevent the continuation of migration flows from Africa.

Non-Governmental Organizations condemned the attempts for a media cover up concerning a migrants’ ship crash off the Tunisian coast, resulting in the death of 55 people which confirms the continuing migration fluxes across the Mediterranean.