Open Arms Uno official presentation: the humanitarian ship
June 8 was a historic day for Open Arms, a special day that we will always remember. In front of the Rambla de Mar in the port of Barcelona, we celebrated the official presentation ceremony of the Open Arms Uno, the new flagship of the organization, a ship prepared for massive rescue at sea and that will help us rescue more people safely and to protect the lives of vulnerable people.
In addition to Oscar Camps, founder and director of Open Arms, and Enrique Piñeyro, Argentine philanthropist and director of the NGO Solidaire, who has ceded the ship to our organization, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, participated in the opening ceremony, along with the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and the president of the Port of Barcelona, Damià Calvet.
In their speeches, the authorities highlighted the work of Open Arms and expressed their solidarity in defense of human rights and the protection of the most vulnerable ones in the migratory corridor that is the Mediterranean.
The launching ceremony featured an unprecedented show on board by the theater company La Fura dels Baus, created and designed for the occasion by Carlus Padrissa to celebrate this new asset of the humanitarian fleet, whose base port will be the city of Barcelona , place where it has been registered. The event was also attended by the singer Joan Dausà, who performed, among other songs, the song “Com plora el mar”, and the mezzo-soprano Mar Esteve. The event was open to all citizens and began with a maritime rescue drill in front of the Rambla de Mar footbridge, followed by an artistic performance on the deck of the ship, where aerial human nets symbolized human brotherhood.
More than 40 volunteers participated in the event, ensuring that the show had a great reception and attracted the attention of crowds of people who came to see such an exciting performance. The citizen presence confirmed the words of Oscar Camps, founder of the NGO, according to whom "Open Arms Uno will be an ambassador of citizenship wherever it goes".
The "Open Arms Uno", built in Norway in 2000, was donated by the president of the NGO Solidaire, the Argentine filmmaker and philanthropist Enrique Piñeyro, and is one of the largest maritime rescue vessels in Europe. The new ship is 66 meters long, 15 meters wide and has a tonnage four times greater than that of the old Open Arms tug. It has a 353 square meter deck where a helicopter can land in case of emergency and evacuation. It is equipped with 4 semi-rigid boats, has 31 places for crew and a hospital with 26 beds and will allow us to accommodate some 300 people, a number that, in case of emergency and without endangering the conditions of the ship, could be increased up to a thousand .
The Open Arms Uno will be a fundamental asset of our fleet to protect people facing the largest mass grave in the world, the Mediterranean. And it will be the ship of all citizens, who support and sustain us from land.