Have a pleasant trip, thank you for sailing with us

Here’s an exciting new way to treat people badly – offer them passage on a ship and then once the ship is well out into the sea…leave. What the hell, you have better things to do, right?

Italian authorities have taken control of a ship with 450 migrants, thought to be Syrian, that was abandoned by its crew off Italy’s coast.

The Italian coastguard said it was now being towed to an Italian port after a rescue team managed to board.

The Ezadeen, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, lost power in rough seas overnight off the south-east of Italy.

A total of 796 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.

It’s the hot new trend.

The alarm was raised in a distress call from one of the migrants using the maritime radio on board, who told the Italian coastguard: “We’re without crew, we’re heading toward the Italian coast and we have no-one to steer.”

The Ezadeen was built nearly 50 years ago and is a livestock carrier. It appears to be registered to a Lebanese company and has come under the control of human traffickers.

That is, the traffickers borrowed it, and once it was in open waters, they returned it to its owners and went away to borrow another ship.

Analysis: Jonathan Josephs, BBC News

The Ezadeen is the latest uncrewed ship full of would-be migrants to be left to drift to its fate in the Mediterranean Sea.

People-traffickers appear to be behind the phenomenon and one source with close knowledge of the rescue operations is concerned that it “seems to be something of a new trend”.

Money for old rope. Borrow or rent a ship, stuff it with people, pocket the cash, nip back to shore in a speedboat.


  1. Broga says

    As species, despite being supposedly so precious to God he sacrificed his son for us, humanity leaves a lot to be desired. When some of us are not abandoning boats with pregnant women on board others are wrecking the planet. The Pope, and other religious leaders, continue to support unrestrained human breeding when we are already over populated. We are now well into the sixth major extinction. Having spent a happy Christmas with two young grandchildren I write this with regret.

  2. VilcaRomba says

    Isn’t this the plot of “Lord Jim”? A book whose entire point was that the man who abandoned the refugees on the foundering ship was haunted by that act for the rest of his life and even fled society in an (unsuccessful) attempt to escape his guilt and live with himself?

  3. Z says

    The Pope, and other religious leaders, continue to support unrestrained human breeding when we are already over populated.

    If those on board are really Syrians, I don’t think that their problem was “overpopulation”…

  4. RJW says

    @2 VilcaRomba

    I doubt that the human traffickers responsible will have a problem with guilty consciences.

  5. k_machine says

    Well, ultimately the responsibility rests on the governments of the rich world, who do not open their borders to refugees. Government spokesmen rant and rave about “human traffickers”, but refuse to do the one simply thing to save the lives of all who run from Western-sponsored wars. Italy took part in the destruction of Libya, but won’t open its borders when people flee from the hell they created. If they truly want to stop “human traffickers” from abandoning the boats they can easily fix it by not jailing the crews of those ships. Nobody cares about the plight of refugees it’s all bullshit hot air.

    An extra bottle of Hatorade goes out to the people who use the term “human traffickers” to mean people who transport refugees, who are not kept in bondage and who want to travel away, unlike the true victims of human traffickers; slaves and those forced into prostitution. (Which can, again, be fixed by just letting the victims stay instead of booting them out.)

  6. RJW says

    @5 k_machine,

    Yes, of course the crew of that ship is only motivated by pure altruism, they all deserve medals, really they do. Who could possibly regard them as callous human traffickers?

  7. Matthias Plait says


    Yes, of course the crew of that ship is only motivated by pure altruism,

    Of course not. But they are not stupid. Obviously there was some crash course in using maritime radio for some passengers. All included in the service. Every passenger payd dearly for the service. Expect more of this kind in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *