Sea-Watch Newsletter March 2017

1Dear fellow supporters,

I am writing to you directly from aboard the Sea-Watch 2 in Malta. The preparations for the impending operations are running at full speed. For weeks on end, our volunteers have worked from early in the morning until late at night on both of our ships. Thanks to your donations and their efforts, we can start securely into the missions 2017.
The upcoming season is going to be tumultuous, so a good preparation is of utmost importance. As project manager at the shipyard and in the name of Sea-Watch I thank you full-heartedly for your aid and support!

Welf Seyer
Project Manager Dockyard & Member of the Organisation

The conversion and repairs were a strenuous effort.
Please help us to render sea rescue more effective in 2017!


1. Political Headwind

NGOs who rescue people from drowning at sea are encouraging smugglers who profit from dangerous Mediterranean crossings, Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri told the German newspaper “DIE WELT” on Feb 27, 2017. Sea-Watch and many other NGOs jointly reject these reproaches which distort the facts. People do not migrate because there are smuggling networks. Smuggling networks exist, because people have to flee. Only safe and legal routes to Europe can put an end to the traffickers’ business.

Those responsible for the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean sea decided again in favor of sealing off borders instead of upholding human dignity at the EU summit in Malta a few weeks earlier. Contrary to Donald Trump who shows off with his plans to build a wall, the European Union does not get its own hands dirty: it ropes in the so-called Libyan coastguard for forced returns. If EU ships themselves push back migrants to Northern Africa, this would be clearly illegal. A European training programme of this coast guard does not improve the situation of the people on share. Libya’s political system is fragmented and human rights violations remain unpunished. A report by German diplomats confirms the catastrophic situation for people on their way to Europe who are subjected to the arbitrariness of people smugglers and militias.

We are disappointed that simultaneously to the resolution to upgrade the Libyan Coast Guard with millions, the prosecution in Hamburg decided to stop penal proceedings against Libyan Coast Guard members. In October 2016, their members attacked our rescue operation which is why several humans drowned before our eyes. The fact that this attack does not have penal consequences leaves us looking ahead anxiously. ”We want a coast guard that is trained for rescue missions, not one that endangers refugees’ lives at sea”, explains Sea-Watch Head of Mission Johannes Bayer.

32. Humans of Sea-Watch:
Portraits of the crew ashore

Sea-Watch is more than a ship!
During our missions in the Mediterranean all those people fade into the background who keep Sea-Watch running throughout the year. In the winter months, a vast number of volunteers work towards our common goal: to oppose the dying in the Mediterranean.

We talk to the media, approach politicians, organise lectures and events, network with other civil rescuers…It’s about time to finally introduce the Sea-Watch Crew ashore. In the following weeks, you will find portraits of our highly motivated volunteers on Facebook and at Humans of Sea-Watch.

3. Monetary penalties for Sea-Watch

Did you know? You can do good with a penalty charge which for example could go to Sea-Watch! If you personally know judges or prosecutors it would be great if you could make them aware of our humanitarian work. Maybe they want to support Sea-Watch e.V. in one of their criminal procedures by assigning a monetary condition. This procedure is a possibility for a mitigation in punishment meaning that the accused makes a charitable donation towards a specific cause or organisation. As a non-profit organisation, we are on the list of eligible associations in all federal states. Thank you for your help and support!

Contact our fundraiser Christina Bechinie von Lazan
Phone: +49 176 220 640 77, E-Mail:


4. Crewing completed

Applications from all over the word have reached us: hundreds of motivated doctors, mechanicians, navigators, photographers introduced themselves at the preparation meeting in Berlin. We are overwhelmed by this run and incredibly grateful that we will cooperate with so many dedicated people in 2017!

Therefore, we are not lacking members of the crew – but to lead successful and secure operations we still need:

  • A new quick-realese crane hook
  • Topping up of non-durable goods like filters etc.
  • A new rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB)
  • Walkie-talkies for the crew
  • New life jackets

With your help we can start our first mission at full power and good equipment!
Please support our crew now with your donation!

Our demand continues to be: #safepassage!

Thanks for having a look at our latest newsletter. Check us out on facebook, twitter and the website! And most of all: stay connected to the people at sea and our team!

Greetings from the whole Sea-Watch team! / / /