Maritime Rescues

La Voz de Galicia – June 23, 2023 →

Cristina PatoAs of the moment I write this column, the submarine lost during an expedition to see the sunken remains of the Titanic, a submarine carrying five people with the ability to pay six figures to have a unique experience in the world. And at the moment I write this column, nothing yet is known about the number of the dead or disappeared who departed from Libya towards Italy packed on a fishing boat that sank on the Greek coast and who are even now lost in the Ionian Sea…but people speak of more than five-hundred bodies.

My chest hurts to think that in the same way that at the moment that contact is lost with the submarine–an hour and forty-five minutes after its departure–a search protocol is established; and that in the case of the fishing boat about to sink, all versions about the rescue protocol are confusing and complex, and give to understand that the attitude of the authorities is not so different from the one being seen over the last decade.

How much pain. How many truncated lives. And even with this, in Europe, we continue without knowing how to deal with a situation that is a habitual as it is complex. To blame are those who traffic people. To blame are the official organizations that day after day do everything possible so that these people do not reach European coasts, evading the human rights of refugees. To blame are those who created the conflicts that force them to flee…

Maritime law demands the rescue and assistance of people who find themselves in dangerous situations in the sea. Whether they are in a tourist submarine or on a fishing boat of refugees, rights should be the same for all. But they are not. And that hurts. Victims are not to blame.

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