Economic Migrants Threaten To Kill Ship’s Crew, Demand Passage To Europe, Reject Rescue By Libyan Coast Guard
Vos Thalassa, an Offshore Supply Ship servicing oil and gas platforms operated by the French company Total, picked up more than 60 economic migrants from the Mediterranean on Sunday night. The economic migrants, lacking any gratitude for being picked on-board, turned against the crew of Vos Thalassa, forcing the crew members to barricade themselves inside the ship.
The economic migrants become violent and started threatening the crew, once they spotted a Libyan Coast Guard vessel approaching the Vos Thalassa with the intention of bringing the individuals back to Libya, i.e the closest safe port.
According to the Libyan Coast Guard spokesman Admiral Ayoub Qassem the coast guard vessel did not intervene as they feared for the safety of both crews and the individuals picked up.
On Monday the Vos Thalassa received assistance from an Italian coastguard vessel which picked up the economic migrants. Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said he was “proud” of the country’s Coast Guard for taking the (economic) migrants “who were endangering the life of the Italian cruiser Vos Thalassa”, writing on Twitter: “Now onward with investigations to punish troublemakers.”
Vos Thalassa had been denied entry into Italian ports by Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. “I will not authorize the disembarkation unless I have guarantees that the delinquents – because they’re not refugees – who violently hijacked a ship will spend some time in jail and then be taken back to their countries,” Salvini told the media.
Toninelli granted permission to the Italian coast guard to disembark the economic migrants in Trapani, Sicily, despite objections from Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who was the one to deny entry to the Vos Thalassa.
Voices in the Italian government have stated, that Vos Thalassas’s intervention was not necessary, as the Libyan ship was in close proximity, ready to pick pick them up and deliver back to safety. What the captains intentions were remain unclear, but perhaps this experience will make him more cautious when seeing economic migrants the next time.
Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini posted a list of the migrants’ nationalities on Tuesday, revealing that a huge majority of the individuals originate from safe countries, while just a few could be considered legitimate refugees.
In quali di questi Paesi c’è la guerra??? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/vFIHkgY7Ry
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) July 10, 2018
Earlier this summer, Italy closed its ports to all NGO vessels after the nation saw a political shift expressed by the will of the Italian people who grew tired of the destabilization of the their country. There are plans in action to deny all civilian vessels, including those flying the Italian flag, entry to Italian ports if they are carrying economic migrants.
Author: Sander Laanemaa
Sander Laanemaa was born in Estonia in 1984. In 2011 he graduated from the Estonian Maritime Academy as a deck officer. During his studies he took an interest in history, philosophy, psychology, and the occult. His research guided him deep into the rabbit hole, which ultimately led to the creation of Culture Wars.
Sander is fluent in English, Swedish, Finnish, and Estonian.
He has given a number of lectures on various topics on maritime affairs, and also on ancient history and the faults of contemporary social movements.