SOS Mediterranee: ‘It is our responsibility to help these people’

SOS Mediterranee: ‘It is our responsibility to help these people’

Berlin: Klaus Vogel, a former captain onboard Hapag-Lloyd containerships, is using his shipping background to pioneer urgently needed solutions for the Mediterranean migrant crisis. He has founded SOS Mediterranee and is using crowdfunding to buy a rescue ship. As of today the charity has raised EUR275,000 in just 45 days. The goal is to get to EUR1.2m and buy a former pilot vessel, Markab, operating for the Dutch Pilot Association

“The Markab perfectly matches the requirements of an all-year-ship and is ready to sail,” Vogel says.

In the first nine months of this year alone, more people have already crossed the Mediterranean Sea than during all of 2014.

“Numbers are not expected to drop during the winter months, and due to the temperatures the crossing of the Mediterranean will be as treacherous as ever,” Vogel says.

The migrant issue is one that is vexing European shipowners at the moment. Both the Danish and the Italian shiponwners’ associations have come out recently saying that merchant ships are not the solution to the crisis.

“It is our belief that civil society has to act and show solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea under extremely and often deadly dangerous conditions. It is our responsibility to help these people, we do not wish to be passive bystanders,” Vogel concludes.

Readers can contribute to the cause by following this link.

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