Our ship MARE JONIO has arrived in Venice. She will have to stop here for a few weeks for mandatory maintenance work to its hull and engine, as prescribed by the Italian Naval Registry (RINA).
Upon its arrival, she was welcomed by the activists of Mediterranea Venezia, Mediterranean Padova and Mediterranean Vicenza, who wanted to thank this 1972 tugboat and its crew for what they have done over the last two years.
The MARE JONIO left the port of Augusta for her first mission on October 3, 2018. Since then she has directly saved 374 people. Women, men and children, who would otherwise have been swallowed up by the sea or lost into the hell of Libya’s camps.
Through its observation and monitoring activities, the MARE JONIO has contributed to the rescue of hundreds of other shipwrecked people in the Central Mediterranean. She has also played a decisive role in the reopening of Italian ports as a safe place of disembarkation for people fleeing war and violence. All this happened despite the fact that she was seized by the authorities 3 times: two on the grounds of a judicial seizure and one for an administrative seizures. These seizures blocked the MARE JONIO in port for more than ten months. On top of this, the MARE JONIO received four warnings, as many criminal investigations and several “bureaucratic” procedures aimed at hindering her activity.
We would have liked to made the MARE JONIO available to those who wanted to visit it and meet us on board. Unfortunately, the current Covid-19 health emergency and the strict prevention protocols, to which we have always adhered, prevent us from organizing public events on board. Like everyone, we hope to get out of this difficult situation soon. As we have always maintained, this will only be possible thanks to solidarity and cooperation, because “no one is saved alone.”
In the meantime, we want to thank Vento Di Venezia which is kindly hosting the Mare Jonio at its dock on the island of Certosa.