MAERSK tanker stuck off Malta with 27 migrants on board

Product tanker MAERSK ETIENNE was ordered to “rescue” illegal migrants on Aug 4, while under way in Gulf of Gabes, Med, SW of Malta, being en route from Genoa Italy to Port of La Skhira, Tunisia. Not exactly clear what organization ordered the ship to pick up 27 “distressed” migrants, whether it was MRCC Malta, or some other body, or maybe NGOs are already powerful enough to order cargo ships, but anyway, the ship interrupted her voyage, picked migrants early Aug 5, and arrived at Malta outer anchorage in the evening Aug 5. As of Aug 9, she was still at anchor, waiting for the outcome – what coastal State will be the first to capitulate and allow migrants to disembark.
Usual culprit is AlarmPhone, it was monitoring migrants boat and snitching on cargo ships, unlucky enough to be in vicinity of “distressed” invaders. Usual comments in media brave enough to keep comments up and going:
…These should not be accepted. They were collected within Libyan SAR and against all orders the captain proceeded here. The government shall hold strong…
The EU is guilty of Racial Discrimination against us Maltese for dumping migrants in a very small island which falls under the protection of the EU’s Principle of Proportionality law thus no foreigner have the right to live permanently in Malta. Also the EU is responsible for the mental health of the migrants, they are desperate to go to another EU country because they know that work in Malta can go down anytime…
At this rate we can pack our bags and leave Malta. As it no longer belongs to us. What have we come to…
Isn’t MAERSK powerful and “progressive/woke” enough to defend ships of its’ own, not to fear BS accusations? Or MAERSK just doesn’t care that much?
Product tanker MAERSK ETIENNE, IMO 9274642, dwt 36941, built 2004, flag Denmark, manager MAERSK TANKERS A/S.



Hi! My name is Stepan Kotcherga, I’m Merchant Marine Navigation Officer, now a Second Officer working on dry cargo ships. My home is in Ukraine. I’m contributing maritime news and inside info.