Maersk Etienne remains anchored off coast of Malta after rescuing migrants

Chemical/oil products tanker Maersk Etienne (IMO 9274642) remained anchored off the coast of Malta on August 19th, two weeks after rescuing 27 migrants. Authorities in Malta and Tunisia have both refused entry for the vessel, Maersk said on Wednesday.

The crew had rescued the migrants following a request from Maltese officials on August 4th. The migrants’ wooden dinghy, which had been at sea for days, sank immediately after the rescue operation, Maersk Tankers said, adding that since then they had been sleeping on blankets on the deck of the oil tanker, sheltered from the sun and wind.

Maersk Tankers chief technical officer Tommy Thomassen said that “the merchant fleet is neither designed nor equipped to care for additional people, and we are quickly depleting the supplies onboard”, adding that “we call on authorities and governments for humanitarian assistance and to urgently find a solution to safely disembark the rescued people”.

Maersk Tankers said that Danish authorities were currently in contact with Malta and Tunisia.

2004-built, Denmark-flagged, 26,659 gt Maersk Etienne is owned by Maersk Product Tankers AS and managed by Maersk Tankers AS, both of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Maersk Product Tankers AS. It is entered with Gard AS for H&M on behalf of AP Moller-Maersk AS.