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Banksy-funded migrants rescue boat calls for urgent help in Mediterranean Sea

The bright pink Louise Michel rescue boat, in August 2020   -  
Copyright © africanews
AFP/Louise Michel Handout


A ship funded by Banksy to rescue migrants has called for urgent help: it is stuck in the Mediterranean Sea with over 200 people onboard.

The ship, which set off from Spanish port of Burriana on 18th August, first rescuing 89 migrants then another 130 who were adrift on a lifeboat on Friday.

Her deck is overcrowded and a liferaft is deployed at her side, with 33 people in it.

The crew of only 10 members, European activists with previous experience in migrants rescue, cannot manoeuver the vessel.

They accuse Italian and Maltese authorities of ignoring their calls for immediate assistance.

Bright pink and named Louise Michel after a French feminist anarchist figure of the Paris Commune, the ship was funded by donations from street-artist Banksy and has his signature artwork.

Previously owned by the French customs, the 31-meter ship is captained by activist Pia Klemp and sails under a German flag.