The organisation, which organises search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, operates three vessels: Sea Watch 1, 2, and 3. If none are able to assist then the vessel would request permission from MRCC in Rome to carry out a rescue itself. On 16 June 2018, the Sea-Watch 3 entered Valletta port for maintenance and scheduled certification inspection, before asking for permission to leave the port on 30 June. The Maltese port authorities did not issue the necessary permission for it to leave, however, initially claiming that “checks” were holding up the permit. The holding of a rescue ship until the end of the crossing season was an “unabashed abuse of power” argued the NGO’s lawyers, asking the court to declare their rights as having been infringed and to award damages.
Source: Libya Today February 11, 2019 17:47 UTC