The wish of the whole new teams on the AQUARIUS to reach the search and rescue zone in front of Libya quickly was strong – but nature was stronger this weekend. “If you want to go you can go” Captain Alex said “but the marine crew and I will stay on land”. Saying this made it very clear for everybody how the situation on the Mediterranean Sea would be the next days.
The weather, wind and wave forecast shows different colours on the computer monitor. Normally we had blue and green, some yellow or orange sometimes – it shows different strength of wind and waves. Violet is already bad but this time the program showed pure black. Not good. “It will be very strong wind, storm and waves up to ten meters” Yohann the SAR Coordinator explained. “That is too much for the AQUIARIUS.”
Different from the North Sea with long waves, the waves in the Mediterranean Sea are very short and weather like this is rare. But it happens like we experienced this weekend. Short waves up to 10 meters would be dangerous for the ship, they would hit our 77-meter vessel like a permanent big hammer. The only good part of this situation is, that there is no chance for any rubber or wooden boat to leave the Libyan coast either.
The rotation is completed and all the newcomers on board the Aquarius know each other after some days. We started to do the general familiarisation with the ship, where is what on board, who is who. The new Search and Rescue team will volunteer the next 3 weeks – Christmas and new year on sea rescuing people.
Currently we are awaiting little bit better weather conditions and are prepared to leave the harbour of Catania within the next 48 hours, most probably this Tuesday or Wednesday.