Open Arms rescue ship under administrative detention

The Open Arms migrant rescue ship has been placed under administrative detention for 20 days in the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara and its Spanish NGO operator fined several thousand euros for allegedly violating new rules governing search and rescue operations carried out by civilian vessels in the central Mediterranean.

The detention came after the ship on Wednesday disembarked 176 migrants and refugees rescued in the central Mediterranean.
The NGO is accused of carrying out multiple rescues in breach of rules introduced by the government of Premier Giorgia Meloni at the start of the year requiring civilian ships to head directly to the assigned port after their first rescue.

This is the second time the Open Arms has been placed under administrative detention at Marina di Carrara for carrying out multiple rescues prior to disembarkation.

The first time was after a disembarkation on August 22.

NGOs operating the so-called civil fleet have criticized the ban on multiple rescues which, combined with the new practice of frequently assigning distant ports, they say have the net effect of keeping rescue ships out of the search and rescue area for longer periods and ultimately saving fewer lives.