Pro-migrant rescue NGO Sea-Watch has complained the Libyan coast guard interfered in their rescue operations whilst the Libyans allege the NGO was operating within its territorial waters.
NGO Sea-Watch, a Berlin-based organisation that picks up migrants in the Mediterranean and ferries them to Europe, has accused the Libyans of acting outside its territorial waters after its ship was accosted by a vessel from the Libyan coast guard on Wednesday.
In a press release, the NGO claimed they were 20 miles off the coast of Libya when a wooden boat packed full of migrants approached their position. Before the group could take the migrants on board, and take them to Europe, the Libyan patrol intervened, almost running into the NGO ship. The Libyans then took the migrants back to North Africa.
Sea-Watch claims the coast guard was operating outside of the sovereign waters of Libya, which extend 12 miles off the coast.