AQUARIUS unrest on board, and other strange stories

Something strange is going on and around migrants ship AQUARIUS, which is cruising in legs east of Malta since Jun 10. According to latest updates from Euronews journalist Anelise Borges on board of AQUARIUS, in Russian version, the crew rejected the trip to Spain ports while being so to say, in full load, because of two reasons: bad weather forecast and growing tension on board, which includes several fights that already broke out among “rescued” migrants. In other words, things on board have become real scary, and some or most of the crew didn’t subscribe for service which may come so dangerous.
Bad weather forecast is a poor excuse indeed – AQUARIUS could and still can reach safe Spain waters before the oncoming, forecasted rough weather, though actually, it’s nothing more than fresh weather in some areas, and this is it.

Latest from Anelise Borges at 1800 UTC Jun 12:
…some 500 people are expected to be transferred to Italian navy and coast guard vessels. The ship you see in the distance is one of them. This operation is expected to take a few hours…
…First transfer of people from #Aquarius to Italian coast guard vessel. 90 people were taken just now. More than 400 left to be transferred – according to initial plan…

Why don’t AQUARIUS start moving towards Spain, when it should steam there full speed, at least 12 hours ago? It’s 700 nm to Barcelona, less than 70 hours (not 4-5 days they’re talking about) run for AUARIUS with its’ 11-12 knots cruise speed. My guess is, it’s because of security/safety situation on board, being far from stable. The last thing NGOs (and their masters) want is migrants’ mutiny on board with unpredictable results. But they’ve been asking for it, you know.
Look at AQUARIUS track Jun 1 – Jun 12, does it resemble rescue ship prowling around in search of distress, or does it resemble a regular passenger line?

And finally, look at one of most popular photos in major media, credited to AQUARIUS, subtitled by Reuters as:
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain offered on Monday to take in a rescue ship that is drifting in the Mediterranean sea with 629 migrants stranded on board after Italy and Malta refused to let it dock. Migrants are rescued by staff members of the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres in the central Mediterranean Sea, June 10, 2018. Picture taken June 10, 2018. Karpov/handout via REUTERS
And by EUobserver as:
The plight of the Aquarius boat – with 629 migrants onboard – is representative of many hundreds of other such vessels. (Photo: SOS Mediterranee)
Where do they see AQUARIUS? It’s a photo of migrants in Landing Craft on cargo deck – what, by the way, does it mean? What’s this ship, and what’s its’ role in all this rigmarole? Where did that one, bearing number 68, come from?

Voytenko Mikhail
June 13, 2018





My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.