Refugee rescue boat sent to help anti-immigrant stranded ship

Sea Eye Volunteer Holds Drowned Refugee Baby

"As our Sea Eye cutter is closest to the C-Star, we were commissioned by MRCC Rome (the sea tributary centre for the western Mediterranean) to help the ship", he said. Sea-Eye Chairman Michael Buschheuer confirmed that one of the group's rescue ships had been dispatched to help the stranded vessel, saying, "To help a ship in distress in the duty of anyone at sea, without regard for their origin, race, religion or beliefs". "The Sea Eye now on the way to the C-Star".

Defend Europe then posted its own statement, claiming that reports of trouble were overblown.

An anti-migrant ship run by far-right activists ran into difficulties at sea-and a refugee rescue ship came to its aid.

The ship chartered by Defend Europe has suffered a "minor technical problem" and authorities have ordered one of the very boats the group is campaigning against to rescue it.

A spokesperson for the group, which is among those Defend Europe has accused of "colluding" with Libyan people smugglers, said it was on its way to offer aid.

Michael Buschheuer, chairman of Sea Eye, said: "To help in distressed persons is the duty of everyone who is at sea - indifferent to their origin, skin color, religion or spirit."

Reuters reported that the Defend Europe crew ultimately refused the Sea-Eye's help.

The C-Star, which has vowed to expose what it describes as "collaboration" between privately-funded rescue ships and people traffickers, said earlier on Twitter it had "developed a minor technical problem during the night", leaving it adrift but not in distress.

"This meant that under under [international regulations] the vessel is considered 'not under command'".

"This problem is about to be resolved".

Generation Identity - the European element of a broader grouping called the Identitarian movement - claims that NGOs in the Mediterranean are not in fact rescuing refugees but are instead part of an illegal human trafficking operation.

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