The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) sent a letter to EU Vice President and Commissioner expressing their concern over the humanitarian crisis onboard Maersk Etienne.
To remind, Maersk Etienne took care of three migrants that jumped overboard. The vessel rescued 27 people more than a month ago and remains in the Mediterranean awaiting a decision by governments on which port will allow their disembarkation.
Now, the two shipping stakeholders in the letter sent, highlight that food and medical supplies are running out, and the crew is not trained to provide the medical treatment needed nor to manage the prolonged situation with vulnerable people on board. Merchant vessels and their crews are not equipped or trained to provide the necessary care that these distressed persons need.
Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General notes that
It is unacceptable that after having rendered assistance by rescuing the persons, the Maersk Etienne has been left entangled in legal and diplomatic disputes between States awaiting a designation of a port for disembarkation.
In addition, Estelle Brentnall, ETF Head of Maritime urged the EU to show political leadership by engaging with and coordinating talks between all governments involved for a resolution of this situation, adding that “a pragmatic, swift and solidary solution is needed to ensure the rescued persons are treated with humanity and dignity and that their rights are fully respected.”