East of Sicily
Cruise ship AIDA Blu supplies refugees
October 3, 2023, 11:31 a.m
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The AIDA Blu is currently on a 14-day tour in the Mediterranean. On Monday, worlds collide east of Sicily. The cruise ship is asked by the Italian Coast Guard to come to the aid of a sailboat.
The cruise ship AIDA Italian authorities called Blu to help rescue a refugee boat on Monday. According to eyewitness reports available to RTL/ntv, the boat approached the cruise ship, which was traveling east of Sicily, on Monday afternoon.
A AIDASpokesman confirmed: “Our ship was called by the Italian authorities to rescue a sailboat in distress.” According to eyewitnesses, there were around 40 people on board the sailboat, including women and children.
A holidaymaker who followed the events on board the AIDA Blu told RTL/ntv that she had the impression “that people had been in distress for a long time”. On the cruise ship there were discussions among the travelers as to whether people would be taken on board.
Care, but not rescue
Finally, the sailboat docked with the AIDA Blu and the people were provided with life jackets, food and drinks. The Aida spokesman said that the people’s lives were not in acute danger. “The situation was under control at all times.”
Cruise ships and other boats have to rescue people in distress at sea. The United Nations Refugee Agency writes: “When people find themselves in distress at sea, maritime tradition and international law dictate that the protection of life has top priority by ensuring timely rescue and safe disembarkation. This is initially insignificant what status the rescued have.”
After some time, the Italian coast guard arrived and took the refugees on board. It is unclear where the refugees came from and where exactly they were taken by the Italian coast guard. The AIDA Blu then continued its journey through the Mediterranean, but some holidaymakers were still under the impression of the events. One holidaymaker called the impressions “crazy”. “Two worlds come together out of nowhere. We here on the cruise ship and the poor people there who have nothing.”