Story By: Sofija Dizdarevik, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This iconic Scottish fishing vessel that reportedly saved more than 20,000 people from drowning in the Mediterranean sea has been sold on eBay.
The ship used to work for the Scottish government and sailed around the Scottish West Coast doing fisheries research before being sold to migrant rescue NGO Sea Watch who used it to save an estimated 20,000 lives in the Mediterranean.
However, NGO bosses in Dresden, Germany, put it up for sale on eBay at the start of the month and it has now been sold. The asking price was a negotiable 75,000 EUR (63,900 GBP) but the final sale price was not revealed.
However, the new owners will also have to shell out for a helm as the previous one was removed and will go on display in the Dresden Transport Museum.
A spokesman for the German NGO said: “The sale was a difficult decision but it was inevitable – as the future costs would have been too great a burden for the organisation.”
The boat is just over 32 metres (105 feet) long, almost 8 metres (26 feet) wide at its widest point, and has 12 rooms including a kitchen, a laboratory, three showers and two toilets.
The ship is so well known that it even has its own Wikipedia page, indicating it was commissioned in 1968 when it was called the Clupea and was previously used for fisheries research before it was purchased for its rescue work.
It was previously registered in the Netherlands before Capt Claus-Peter Reisch was accused of breaching the laws of the sea and convicted, before having the verdict overturned.
Officials in France and Italy accused the boat and its captain of ignoring the instructions of the Libyan coastguard.
Netherlands Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen stated in June 2018 that Lifeline was not sailing under the Dutch flag, and in fact simply registered its proof of ownership there.
After that the Dutch authorities withdrew the registration the owners were forced to try and register in Germany but the costs of setting up shop there were too much.
As a result, the boat was put up for sale.
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