Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete, center, from Germany, waves as she arrives in the Sicilian port of Porto Empedocle, escorted by Italian finance police, from Lampedusa, Italy, Monday, July 1, 2019. Rackete has been in custody since Saturday when she defied Italy's anti-migrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and port authorities by steering her Sea-Watch 3 ship to Lampedusa's dock so the 40 migrants the ship rescued on June 12 could disembark. (Pasquale Claudio Montana Lampo/ANSA via AP)

German aid group defends actions of migrant rescue captain

July 02, 2019 - 7:21 am

BERLIN (AP) — German humanitarian group Sea-Watch says the captain of its rescue ship detained in Italy acted in accordance with international law when she forced her way into port in Lampedusa with 40 migrants on board.

Captain Carola Rackete was expected to learn Tuesday whether she'll remain under house arrest as the investigation continues into her actions, which included ramming a border police motorboat.

Sea-Watch spokesman Ruben Neugebauer said the 31-year-old had announced her plans to dock after declaring an emergency 60 hours earlier and compared the situation to a police vehicle preventing an ambulance from reaching a hospital

Neugebauer told reporters in Berlin that "if anyone is responsible, it's certainly not Carola."

Supporters in Italy and Germany have pledged over 1.3 million euros ($1.48 million) for Sea-Watch in recent days.

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