Famous street artist Banksy has funded a refugee rescue boat with the aim of helping refugees reach Europe from North Africa.
The boat, which is named Louise Michel, used to belong to the French Navy. However the boat has been bought with funds provided by Banksy and managed by a crew of European activists. The UK artist also decorated the boat with his own artwork.
Just after a week after the boat set off, it rescued 350 people.
The boat however, was in Malta’s SAR zone, and together with alarm phone were making pressure on the AFM to rescue the refugees onboard.
After several days without answer from the Maltese and Italian authorities, the refugees onboard were transferred to SeaWatch4 and are now looking for a place to disembark.
Italia and Maltese authorities have been holding back from rescuing refugees for various reasons. Over 100 rescued refugees which were brought to Malta tested positive for Covid-19, and there have been multiple reports of immigrants jumping off boats on purpose to force the AFM to rescue them.