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Shipowners: German navy should rescue refugees outside of EU zone

The German Shipowners' Association calls for the country's navy to rescue refugees outside of the so-called Triton zone, which is the EU's largest operational zone in the Mediterranean. These are the waters where the worst refugee disasters occur, says the association.

Photo: Francesco Viviano/AP/POLFOTO/arkiv

The biggest and most devastating refugee disasters in the Mediterranean mainly occur in a 200 to 300 kilometer-wide area between the EU's Triton operational zone and the coast of Libya, says the German Shipowners' Association, Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR), which requests that Germany's navy patrols these waters that are otherwise primarily navigated by merchant vessels.

"The German Navy vessels assigned to rescue refugees from boats in distress in the Mediterranean should be deployed in areas not currently patrolled by EU ships,"says VDR CEO Ralf Nagel in a statement, stressing that in these areas merchant ships are often the ones which must rescue the drowning refugees:

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