A far-right anti-refugee ship has had to be rescued by… you guessed it [TWEETS]

Far-right ship C-Star
Support us and go ad-free

A ship chartered by ‘Defend Europe‘, a far-right project aiming to disrupt the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean, has been forced to seek its own rescue. This was after the ship, C-Star, experienced engine trouble off the Libyan coast. Behind Defend Europe is a group of activists, who call themselves “Identitarians“. But since leaving Djibouti some weeks ago, their journey has been beset by problems at every stage, as The Canary reported. And now the ship has had to be rescued by an NGO that normally helps refugees.

Far-right blocked from docking

After passing through the Suez Canal, the C-Star headed for the Turkish Cypriot port of Famagusta. There the captain was reportedly arrested, allegedly for possessing false papers. Also, the ship was found to be carrying a number of Sri Lankan people, who tried to claim refugee status but who were later deported. However, the captain was released and new crew members found.

After Cyprus, the ship unsuccessfully attempted to dock at Catania (Sicily) and next at Ierapetra (Crete). But that was again unsuccessful, thanks to the efforts of local anarchists.

And on 7 August the ship attempted to dock at the Tunisian port of Zarzis, though the fishermen there were having none of it.

Out of fuel

Since then the ship was logged as staying in the same spot, just a few miles off the Libyan coast. And it was clear it had run out of fuel, or was experiencing engine problems:

On the morning of 11 August, the ship indeed reported damage to its engine:

But the engine problem was not resolved and the EU’s Naval Force’s ‘Operation Sophia’ contacted the nearest vessel to provide help.


The German-registered Sea-Eye was first to answer the call and indicated it would offer all assistance:

A big dollop of irony

Ironically, Sea-Eye is chartered by an NGO that provides assistance to refugees. The Sea-Eye subsequently issued a statement:

Sea-Eye said Italian officials told its crew the ship had suffered a mechanical problem, meaning it could no longer manoeuvre.

The chairman of Sea-Eye, Michael Buschheuer, said:

To help a ship in distress is the duty of anyone at sea, without regard for their origin, race, religion or beliefs… Sea-Eye took on a course towards the C-Star and got in contact with the right-wing extremists, but they refused any help… On the instructions of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre [in Rome], the Sea-Eye continued its search for shipwrecks and drownings.

The real heroes

This has been a disastrous voyage for the C-Star, as well as for The Daily Mail, which publicised its mission, though not always successfully.

Meanwhile, as of 11 July 2017 there have been 2,353 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. But the humanitarian work of Sea-Eye, of MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) and MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) continues.

Get Involved!

– Donate to Hope Not Hate’s campaign against ‘Defend Europe’, Médecins Sans Frontières and to Sea Eye.

Featured image via SeaEye/Twitter

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed