Italian authorities have blocked the sea rescue ship Sea-Eye 4 at the port of Palermo.
It was unclear how long the vessel would have to stay there, the spokesperson for the German organization Sea-Eye told dpa.
Authorities said the reason for the move was that too many people were being transported on board the ship, the spokesperson said.
Authorities said that the ship was not registered as a rescue vessel and therefore different rules applied to it in terms of the number of passengers, the spokesperson added.
But the rescue vessel classification demanded by the authorities did not exist under a German flag, the spokesperson said, adding that Sea Eye was requesting support from Germany.
During its latest mission, the Sea-Eye 4 rescued 408 migrants from the central Mediterranean and brought them to Pozzallo in Italy. From there, the crew sailed to Palermo to quarantine and for repairs.
The mayor of the city on Friday named the crew honorary citizens for their rescue efforts.
Photo – File photo – Italian police officers keep watch as the Sea Eye ship docks in Pozzallo, near Ragusa, Sicily Island, southern Italy, 21 May 2021. The Sea Eye ship docked in the port of Pozallo carrying some 414 migrants on board, including 150 minors, who were rescued in recent days in the Mediterranean. The ship obtained authorization to disembark in a safe harbor on 19 May, following the evacuation for health reasons of a young man on a ‘Capitaneria di Porto’ patrol boat off the coast of Palermo. EPA-EFE/FRANCESCO RUTA