>> The last charity search and rescue ship attempting to find refugees and migrants in the Central Mediterranean has had its registration revoked. The vessel Aquarious II is operated by NGOs including SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders. It was registered in Panama and an SOS representative said the country has stripped Aquarius of its flag.
This means that the next time the ship docks, it will not be allowed to sail again unless it finds a new country to register under. These images were taken a day after the ship learned of its plight. It currently has 58 survivors aboard. This is at least the second time Aquarius has run into this problem.
It was previously flagged at Gibraltar until that was revoked in August. SOS said then and now that the countries were bowing to outside political pressure. Aquarius was the final hold out from what at it's height in 2015, used to be a flotilla of similar vessels in the waters between Italy and Libya.
They coordinated with National Coast Guards led by the Italians. But that changed when anti-immigrant political parties took power in Italy, which accused the NGO ships of fostering Europe's immigration crisis. Rome then quickly blocked Aquarius from its ports.