Carola Rackete

Verleihung Karl-Küpper-Preis an Carola Rackete

Carola Rackete (1988 -) is a German ecologist, conservationist and social justice activist. Rackete earned a degree in nautical science and maritime transport and proceeded to gain a master’s in conservation management. She served as a navigation officer in scientific expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, volunteered on ships in the Far East of Russia and worked on ships owned by Greenpeace and the British Antarctic Survey.

In 2019, Rackete was the captain of the ship Sea-Warch 3. The ship picked up 53 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, among which were children and pregnant women. They headed towards Lampedusa, the nearest safe harbor, however, Italy closed its ports to migrant ships before they arrived. 19 days after rescuing the migrants, Rackete decided to dock the ship without permission because her passengers were exhausted. She was arrested by the Italian authorities and accused of human trafficking and attempting to sink an Italian patrol boat. She was eventually freed from all charges when a court ruled that she broke no laws and was protecting her passengers’ safety. Italy’s highest court later confirmed that she should never have been arrested.