Runtime: 90 minutes
Méditerranée - Aquarius (NGO ship) - Netflix
The MV Aquarius is a former German coast-guard and fishery protection vessel (then named Meerkatze, 1977) operated since February 2016 by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a rescue vessel for migrants and refugees making the Mediterranean crossing in makeshift craft from Libya to Italy as part of the European migrant crisis. The ship has a capacity to rescue 200-500 migrants. On May 25, 2016 the Aquarius made news when returning from its tenth rescue operation, having rescued 388 migrants, a Ghanaian boy was born on board. The boy was named Alex in honor of the Russian captain of the Aquarius, Alexander Moroz. In June 2018 the ship carrying 629 migrants from Sudan and Bangladesh saved from the sea was denied entry to Italy by Italy's new interior minister Matteo Salvini and to Malta as well. The Spanish government offered the Aquarius the chance to dock in the secure port of Valencia, Spain and the Italian navy offered full assistance and a marine escort for the trip. From the Government it is not ruled out to send Immigration detention to part of these irregular immigrants. Aquarius and its migrants arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia on 17 June. Half of them opted to claim asylum in France, insofar as France opened the doors to anyone from the Aquarius.
Méditerranée - History - Netflix
The ship was classified by Germanischer Lloyd as a Class E2 Icebreaker, employed principally in the central North Sea and North Atlantic, where thanks to its design it proved excellent at navigating through adverse sea conditions. In 2009 it was decommissioned and replaced by the “Meerkatze II”, previously the research ship Anton Dohrn. It was acquired by Bremen company RS Research Shipping (now Jasmund Shipping), renamed MV Aquarius and re-registered under Gibraltar port of registry. Here it operated until the end of 2015 as a survey vessel for renewable energy, oil & gas industry, and other offshore projects. Most recently in February 2016 the ship was leased to humanitarian NGO SOS Méditerranée, to provide open sea rescue and support to migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach the European Union. Operating on missions coordinated by Rome's maritime rescue coordination centre, patrolling the waters around Sicily, Lampedusa, and near the Lybian coast, it provided aid to over 10,000 migrants.
Completed by Lürssen in Bremen in 1977, serial ID 13453, the ship was utilised by the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Nutrition (BLE) unit of the Küstenwache, or the German Federal Coast Guard, as a “Fischereischutzboot” or fishery protection vessel.
Méditerranée - References - Netflix