San Sebastián (EFE)
This has been confirmed to EFE by sources from the NGO Salvamento Marítimo Humanitario, owner of the vessel. They have announced that they will present allegations to the sanctioning file, communicated through the Maritime Captaincy of Valencia belonging to the Ministry of Transport.
The amount of the fine could vary depending on the “prompt payment” of the same or the infractions that are finally contemplated in the process.
“technical and operational” irregularities
This case dates back to the year 2020. The Aita Mari was in Palermo (Sicily) and was subjected to an inspection by the port authorities, who detected a series of irregularities that led to the immobilization of the ship.
The Italian Coast Guard then reported that the inspection had detected “several technical and operational irregularities”, which could “compromise the safety” of all people on board. It also noted “some violations in the protection of the marine environment.”
However, the Humanitarian Maritime Rescue assures that all the deficiencies were corrected. It also specifies that “most” were related to the documentation and did not affect the safety of the ship.
The case continued to be processed in accordance with international regulations until this past Thursday when the opening of the disciplinary file was announced.
Maritime Humanitarian Rescue: «Political campaign»
The president of Humanitarian Maritime Rescue, Iñigo Mijangos, has framed that inspection in a “campaign” promoted by the Italian Government to “stop the rescue boats of the civil rescue fleet.”
In his opinion, this disciplinary process derives from “a more political campaign” than “related to the safety of the ships.”
Mijangos has said that they will present “the corresponding allegations” and await “the response of the official instructing the process.”
He has assured that “this situation has nothing to do with the dispatch of the ship, which is independent and separate, and whose inspection will take place next Tuesday.”
Mijangos has hoped that “everything is satisfactory and the boat can leave without major difficulties” from the disciplinary file.
The news of the possible sanction against Aita Mari has generated a reaction from Basque institutions and parties. The autonomous government that has defended the “human and solidarity values” of the ship and has wished that “it can leave as soon as possible on a humanitarian mission.”
The Basque director of Migration and Asylum, Xabier Legarreta, has acknowledged that he does not know “the details of the file opened by the Spanish Government.” He has assured, however, that “public institutions are there to unblock conflicts and support initiatives like this one, which save lives.”
The PNV deputy Iñigo Barandiaran has sent Congress a battery of questions in which he requests the Government information on this matter.
EH Bildu in Congress has requested the appearance of the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez. She wants me to explain “the motives, reasons and situation of the disciplinary file.” EFE