The Ocean Viking ship, which saved 261 immigrants, was seized: “It is against the Piantedosi decree”

The Ocean Viking ship of the NGO SOS Mediterranée was administratively seized for allegedly “violating the Piantedosi decree”. The boat docked in Brindisi on the morning of February 9 with 261 migrants, including 68 unaccompanied children, who were rescued in various operations in international waters off the coast of Libya in recent days.

As confirmed by the Brindisi port authority, the seizure was decided for 20 days and an administrative sanction is also envisaged.

Last December 30, Ocean Viking faced the same seizure measure after landing in Bari with 244 migrants. The violation concerned failure to comply with instructions to “proceed without delay” and “follow a direct route” towards the assigned port, in accordance with the Piantedosi decree. Even in this case, the expected detention period was 20 days plus a fine of 3,300 euros.

What does the “Piantedosi decree” provide?

The so-called “Piantedosi doctrine” forces NGO ships to adopt a set of practices that, according to multiple humanitarian organisations, will have the effect of hindering rescue operations.

One of the basic rules is that after a rescue operation is carried out at sea, each ship must immediately request a landing port from the Maritime Coordination Center and arrive there without delay, avoiding further operations. “multiple rescues” which are effectively banned.

In addition, organizations are required to promptly collect migrants’ intentions to seek international protection, inform them in advance about practices and outcomes, and “collect relevant data and make it available to the authorities if interested.” A requirement that has been repeatedly criticized by various organisations: “Collecting data while people are still at sea appears to be the beginning of an identification procedure. This is contrary to all guidelines provided by relevant bodies such as UNHCR.” “, said Nicola Stalla, SOS Mediterranée’s deputy director of operations, in recent months.


In case of violation, an administrative fine of between 10 and 50 thousand euros and administrative detention is imposed on the violating ship. In case of repetition, the administrative sanction of seizure of the ship and provisional seizure is applied. Sanctions ranging from 2 thousand to 10 thousand euros are foreseen for the ship commander and owner who do not provide the information requested by the competent national authority regarding search and rescue at sea or who do not comply with the instructions of the same authority. “.

The specific violation for which Ocean Viking is accused has not yet been clarified. When the ship docked in Brindisi this morning, a group of women were hanging out the window, clapping their hands and singing. The happiness of reaching a safe haven is unstoppable. On board were more than 70 unaccompanied children, three pregnant women, and also a small dog. The minors will remain in Brindisi, while the others will be transferred to different parts of Italy.

Source: Today IT