(CNN)A pro-migrant organization's boat was called upon to rescue a vessel used by the anti-immigrant Defend Europe group Friday.
According to Sea-Eye, a nongovernmental organization whose boats rescue struggling migrants, Italian officials instructed the crew of one of its boats to attend to Defend Europe's C-Star craft, which has been patrolling the Mediterranean, after it suffered a mechanical failure.
Michael Buschheuer, the chairman of Sea-Eye, said: "To help a ship in distress in the duty of anyone at sea, without regard for their origin, race, religion or beliefs."
Defend Europe, which had vowed to stop the "invasion" of refugees attempting to sail to Europe, refused the group's aid, according to a press release from Sea-Eye, which continued its exploratory course for shipwrecked and drowning people.
Earlier in the day, the Defend Europe group confirmed in a statement on Twitter that its vessel had "developed a minor technical problem."
The group has struggled throughout its mission, with the C-Star being held up in Egypt and Cyprus, while its crew was also caught up in allegations of people smuggling but released for lack of evidence. Tunisia refused to allow the C-Star entry to the country's ports.