A refugee rescue vessel funded by British street artist Banksy said it was stranded and needed urgent help on Saturday after lending assistance to a boat in the Mediterranean that was carrying around 130 migrants including at least at least one who died.
Crew on the Louise Michel tweeted saying that the people they had rescued had experienced extreme trauma and needed vital assistance as they’re unable to move and that nobody was coming to their aid.
The Louise Michel, named after a French anachist, was thought to be around ninety kilometeres from the Italian island of Lampedusa.
More than 100,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean last year from North Africa with more than 1,200 dying in the attempt, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Painted in hot pink and white, the Louise Michel features a Banksy artwork depicting a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped safety buoy. The 31-metre motor yacht, formerly owned by French customs authorities, is smaller but considerably faster than other NGO rescue vessels.
Banksy’s decision to fund the high-speed boat follows a body of work by the artist that has levelled scathing judgements on Europe’s halting response to the migrant crisis.
The Louise Michel left the Spanish port of Burrinia in secret earlier on August 18th