Artist Banksy has funded a secret mission to attempt to rescue refugees who are trying to get to Europe from North Africa and is reported to have saved 89 people so far on his bright pink motor yacht.
The boat began its mission on August 18th when it left Spain and went for the central Mediterranean sea and, this Thursday, the boat saved dozens of refugees who were in distress who they rescued—an effort which reportedly included four children.
Banksy’s boat was named after French feminist Louise Michel and has a crew of activists from across Europe who have previously participated in search and rescue operations. Some of those on board were involved in recent expeditions that saved 105 people in similar conditions.
Pia Klemp who is a German human rights activist who has been involved in a plethora of NGO boat missions, and has saved thousands of lives on the sea across the years, revealed to the Guardian about Banksy’s involvement with the project.
She shared an email that the enigmatic artist sent to her all the way back in September last year, which she initially didn’t believe was real. “Hello Pia, I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass,” Banksy wrote. “I am an artist from the UK and I’ve made some work about the migrant crisis, obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something? Please let me know. Well done. Banksy.”
The German activist also stated that Banksy was solely a financial supporter and wasn’t involved in the operational aspect of the rescue mission.