Aquarius sends email to Spanish MRCC, copying Italian MRCC and other concerned parties, acknowledging receipt of availability to receive Aquarius in Valencia and informing that due to overcrowded conditions, safety and security concerns, Aquarius can only sail safely to Spain with a maximum of 100 survivors.
To: Spanish MRCC
” Please be informed that from beginning of SAR operations we are still under full coordination of MRCC Rome, who instructed me as a Master to receive on board 400 people from three Italian Coast Guard vessels and one Italian flagged merchant ship, apart of 229 persons rescued at sea by MV Aquarius. Total amount of rescued persons on board is 629.
Presently my vessel is in overcrowded condition, only women and children are accommodated inside accommodation and all 541 men are accommodated on open weather decks. Therefore it is unsafe for proposed voyage from my present location to Valencia under the present conditions. It would be unsafe also for the ship and her crew to afford such a long transit under these conditions.
Please take in consideration that the weather forecast is showing condition to deteriorate in the next days.
The vessel is in shortage of food supplies for such a large amount of people and the life saving appliances do not cover all persons currently on board.
Maintaining all these people on board for an extended period of time may raise security concerns as well.
All rescued persons are at sea already over 72 hrs and they are in need of being delivered to a safe port as soon as possible without any further delay.
All above considered, only condition under which MV Aquarius could safely sail to Spain is with a maximum number of rescued persons of 100 after transfer of exceeding passengers.
Under these circumstances I would appreciate if you could coordinate with MRCC Rome to provide me with an option which takes in the utmost consideration the safety of my ship, her crew and all the rescued persons on board.
Informing MRCC Madrid that MV Aquarius is under full coordination of MRCC Rome. Informing that due to overcrowded condition, safety and security concerns, MV Aquarius can only sail safely to Spain with a maximum number of rescued people of 100. Requesting MRCC Madrid to coordinate with MRCC Rome.”