Maersk are calling on responsible governments for urgent humanitarian assistance and a safe disembarkation of the 27 people they rescued four weeks ago. They have asked the relevant authorities to ensure that these migrants are immediately tended to and provided the care and attention they need. Doing so will also allow the captain and the crew to continue their voyage and return home to their families.
Following a request from Maltese officials on 4 August Maersk crew rescued 27 migrants stranded in Tunisian waters. The rescued - who include a pregnant woman and at least one minor – have been forced to remain on board the Danish-flagged tanker Maersk Etienne now for twenty-seven days. This is a new and unfortunate record for migrants held abroad a commercial ship.
The crew continue to provide as much support and assistance as they can to this vulnerable group, but they lack the resources to offer sustained humanitarian and medical care. A tanker ship is neither designed nor equipped to accommodate additional people; Maersk therefore find themselves in a situation where the supplies are rapidly depleting.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have both voiced their concerns over the lack of political response over this crisis. Maerk appreciate the support of both organisations as they are deeply concerned about the situation on board the ship.