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Norway minister mocked for migrant Mediterranean stunt

Sylvi Lisathaug was ridiculed on social media after images of her floating in the Mediterranean Sea were released

Published: Updated:

A Norwegian lawmaker caused an outcry after she launched herself into the Mediterranean Sea wearing a life suit, in a bid to highlight the experience of migrants who fall into the sea, website The Local, Norway English reported.

Minister of migration and integration Sylvi Listhaug, who is known for her hardline position on immigration, was on the Greek island of Lesbos to learn more about the rescue work being carried out by crew on the Norwegian ship Peter Henry von Koss when she performed the stunt.

Dressed in a bright orange hooded survival suit, she jumped into the sea and floated for a short time, before being lifted from the water by the crew of the ship in a mock rescue.

"You can't put yourself into the same situation as the refugees but you can see it from that perspective [and experience] how it is to be in the water that way," she told Norwegian News Agency (NTB.)

“They don’t have a survival suit, so it’s not comparable,” she added.

But her mock rescue stunt appears to have quite literally landed her in deep water with many people expressing their outrage at her act on social media.

“How about opening the window to really know what it’s like to be homeless?” Karin Andersen from the Socialist Left Party tweeted.

Lisathaug defended herself by saying: "I spoke with the crew, who told me horrible stories. They are heroes who have saved over 3,000 people. When I was asked to see how they operate, of course I said yes. It would have been completely rude not to have done it."