Specifically, Carola Rackete faced up to 10 years in prison on possible charges of endangering the lives of four policemen and could still face separate charges of aiding illegal immigration.

According to Reuters, the German captain apologised for hitting the patrol boat, supporting that it was an accident and explaining that her only concern was the well-being of the migrants who had been at sea for more than two weeks.

Sea Watch posted on their Facebook account

We are relieved our captain is free! There were no grounds to keep her arrested, as her only 'wrongdoing' was to enforce human rights on the Mediterranean and to take responsibility where none of the European governments did.

Several fundraisers have raised over one million euros to help Rackete, and Sea-Watch says the money will be used to fund future rescue missions.

In light of Carola's release, the Human Rights at Sea commented

From the news received this evening that Captain Carola Rackete has been released from Italian custody with no charges found against her, as we understand, this is a victory for both common sense and a victory for civil society in its lawful objective and focus to assure that the rights of all persons at sea, including migrants and refugees, are protected and respected.