Guardiola to pay $177,000 towards releasing rescue ship impounded in Italy

Indo Asian News Service

Barcelona, June 12 (IANS) Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has agreed to pay 150,000 euros ($177,000) towards the release of a migrant rescue ship that was impounded by Italian authorities as it operated in the Mediterranean, the founder of the humanitarian NGO linked with the vessel said on Tuesday.

Italy's Prosecutor had ordered the impounding of the Proactiva Open Arms in the port of Pozzallo in March, something it described as a preventive confiscation under the allegation that it had promoted what it described as clandestine immigration and criminal association, reports Efe.

"Pep came to see us, he even talked about going to the ship to help," said Oscar Camps, founder of the Proactiva Open Arms, a Spanish NGO devoted to search and rescue at sea.

"And it's not just him, some other athletes have also expressed an interest in coming along to lend a hand," Camps said in a radio interview.

Camps said the NGO is financed mainly through small contributions made through social networks and has also benefited from local government contributions.

He said that collaborations from different sources were vital to keeping the operation afloat.

"The Provincial Council of Barcelona also helps us, it is not the first time that Guardiola has taken an action of this kind," he added.

Camps, a former basketball player, went aboard the Open Arms in May 2017 for two weeks to help organise the rescue of refugees adrift in the Mediterranean.

--IANS

gau/bg