A ship used by anti-immigrant activists to stop refugees from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe broke down off the coast of Libya on Friday – and was saved by a refugee rescue boat.
According to Buzzfeed, the C Star – purchased by a group of right-wing Youtubers called Generation Identity – ran into mechanical trouble in international waters, and the European Union Naval Force asked a ship operated by Italian refugee rescue group Sea-Eye to respond.
— Sea-Eye It (@SeaEye_It) August 11, 2017
The right-wing ship, adorned with banners that read “Defend Europe” and “NO WAY You will not make Europe Home! No Way,” was in “distress at sea” and unable to move, Sea-Eye reported.
The group claims that organizations operating in the Mediterranean to protect human lives during the refugee crisis are in fact involved in illegal human trafficking. The group issued a statement, denying that it was in distress.
The far-right group said it developed a “minor technical problem” and sent out a notice that it was “not under command” per maritime protocol.
— Defend Europe (@DefendEuropeID) August 11, 2017
The group has come under fire – and was even arrested – for some of its anti-immigrant behavior, which included firing flares at refugee rescue ships.
Buzzfeed noted this wasn’t the first time the C Star has run into trouble, as it had previously been detained in the Suez Canal along with its Captain, and the crowdfunding website used to fund the ship and its endeavors suspended the group’s account.