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Sea-Watch Moonbird - Assistance in search of boats in distress

A project from Sea-Watch e.V.
in Berlin, Germany

Since 2017, Sea-Watch has been operating the civilian reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird over the central Mediterranean. This allows us to detect and report sea emergencies earlier. Moonbird also helps with the coordination of rescues.

J. Bayer
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About this project

Together with the Humanitarian Pilot Initiative (HPI), Sea-Watch has been operating the civilian reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird of the type Cirrus SR22 over the central Mediterranean Sea since spring 2017. The propeller aircraft is able to cover a large sea area and thus detect maritime emergencies earlier. In addition, the aircraft helps the civilian fleet and other ships to coordinate rescues. The air reconnaissance mission thus closes a gap in civilian sea rescue.

Far too many people have fallen victim to European isolation in recent years. In 2021 alone, over 1500 people drowned while trying to cross the central Mediterranean. With our two aircraft, we flew over 100 missions over the Mediterranean last year. During the missions, we document human rights violations and report emergencies to rescue coordination centres and ships.

Our aerial reconnaissance mission has made a huge difference at Europe's deadly maritime border in recent years and is an essential pillar in civil society's response to the dying in the Mediterranean. But civilian rescue at sea is expensive: It costs us around €34,000 to operate the Moonbird for a month.

Help us with your donation to keep the Moonbird in the air and send a clear signal against Europe's policy of sealing people off!