Volunteers on a German refugee rescue ship say they have been deployed to help a far-right vessel that has become stranded in the Central Mediterranean.
Sea-Eye said Italian officials had told their crew that the C-Star, operated by an anti-immigration group calling itself Defend Europe, had suffered a mechanical failure and could not manoeuvre.
A spokesperson for the group, which is among those Defend Europe has accused of “colluding” with Libyan people smugglers, said it was on its way to offer aid.
Michael Buschheuer, the chairman of Sea-Eye, said: “To help a ship in distress in the duty of anyone at sea, without regard for their origin, race, religion or beliefs.”
Defend Europe confirmed its ship was suffering a “minor technical problem” that was being resolved.
“C-Star developed a minor technical problem during the night,” a spokesperson said, saying that its engine was stopped so it could be fixed.
“This means that under [maritime laws to prevent collisions] the vessel is considered ‘not under command’ and information was sent out to vessels nearby in accordance with regulations.
“This problem is about to be resolved.”
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