Far-right's anti-refugee ship helped out by refugee rescue boat

Sea Eye Volunteer Holds Drowned Refugee Baby

A German refugee rescue ship has been sent to the aid of a vessel crewed by far-right anti-immigration activists that is stranded in the Central Mediterranean, The Independent has reported.

The refugee rescue group Sea-Eye said in a Facebook post that it had been instructed by the EU's Operation Sophia to help the C-Star, bought by Generation Identity with the "Defend Europe" campaign.

After Italian marine rescue services identified Sea-Eye's cutter as the closest vessel, it went to offer assistance to the C Star.

EU NAVFOR spokesperson Capt. Ettore Ruiu confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a patrol aircraft had spotted C-Star in global waters near Libya at 9.00 a.m. local time (3.00 a.m. ET) having experienced an engine breakdown.

Its statement read: "C-Star developed a minor technical problem during the night, in order to rectify before the vessel entered the SAR zone and navigated closer to other vessels, the main engine was stopped".

Defend Europe has played down the incident.

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Michael Buschheuer, the chairman of Sea-Eye, said: "To help in distressed persons is the duty of everyone who is at sea - indifferent to their origin, skin color, religion or spirit".

Although the ship is considered "not under command", the problem is being resolved, Defend Europe said at around midday on Friday.

Defend Europe, which is an offshoot of the white nationalist Identitarian movement, claims rescuing refugees from the Mediterranean is an "invasion" endangering the continent.

"They said they don't need or want our help", Buschheuer said.

Calling itself a "patriotic NGO", the group is tapping into growing unease in Europe about immigration from North Africa that has brought some 600,000 impoverished migrants and refugees to Italy in less than four years.

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