“To help those who are in distress is the duty of everyone who is at sea.”
Image via Generation Identity/YouTube
Generation Identity is a German far-right group that works to prevent refugees from entering Europe by intercepting humanitarian ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The group claims that NGOs in the Mediterranean aren’t rescuing refugees, but are part of an illegal human trafficking ring. This group of sea Nazis patrols the waters in the C-Star, a boat the group purchased as part of the Defend Europe campaign. Early on the morning of Aug. 11, the C-Star ran into some trouble off the coast of Libya.
La Sea-Eye é stata contattata dal MRCC per fornire aiuto alla . L'equipaggio si sta quindi dirigendo verso la nave di DefendEurope pic.twitter.com/rE33q0GXrb— Sea-Eye It (@SeaEye_It) August 11, 2017\n
The C-Star had a mechanical failure and was unable to maneuver. It released a statement that read: “C-Star developed a minor technical problem during the night, in order to rectify before the vessel entered the SAR [search and rescue] zone and navigated closer to other vessels, the main engine was stopped.” After hearing the distress signal, the Italian coast guard summoned the closest ship to assist, and it just so happened to be the Sea-Eye, a humanitarian refugee rescue boat.
The Sea-Eye got in contact with the C-Star via radio, but the right-wing group refused the help. So the Sea-Eye turned around and continued its mission to help refugees in distress. Sea-Eye Chairman Michael Buschheuer believes that helping the C-Star is part of its humanitarian goal: “to help those who are in distress is the duty of everyone who is at sea — no matter their origins, skin color, religion, or views.”
Generation Identity, however, has denied the Sea-Eye ever offered its assistance, and Defend Europe backed its claim in a rather Trumpian tweet.
One more time, fake news from pseudo-journalists have been swept away! goes on!— Defend Europe (@DefendEuropeID) August 11, 2017\n