Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-Spanish rescue ship stranded off Italy with 73 African migrants on board


UPDATE 1-Spanish rescue ship stranded off Italy with 73 African migrants on board
Image Credit: Pixabay

The leader of a Spanish rescue mission said on Sunday that Italian authorities had refused to grant port access to its Open Arms ship, leaving the vessel stranded in rough conditions in the Mediterranean with more than 70 African migrants on board. The 73 migrants were picked up from a packed rubber dinghy drifting about 50 miles off Libya on Wednesday night.

Italy has allowed the ship to enter its national waters to shelter from a storm but has so far refused to let the vessel dock, the charity said. Open Arms Mission Chief Ricardo Gatti, who is on board the ship, said the organization has requested to land in Italy and Malta but has been denied permission. Italy suggested that the ship should dock at the Libyan port of Tripoli, he said.

"We continue to ask for a safe port to disembark which is a legal obligation by the government according to international conventions. We have people on board who probably need to be evacuated due to health issues," Gatti said. Rough seas were aggravating the situation, he added.

However, Italy's interior minister Luciana Lamorgese signalled the country may yet open a port for the Open Arms and fellow Spanish rescue vessel Aita Mari to dock. "We've got two further ships ... with hundreds of migrants on board saved in the past days, which are asking for a safe harbour, and presumably they will have it," she said in an interview on state TV.

Asked if the vessel would land at the Sicilian port of Messina, she replied: "we are carrying out checks." A Reuters cameraman on the ship saw migrants huddled under a makeshift shelter on deck as the ship rolled through choppy waters and lightning flashed overhead.

Among the group of mostly Central and West Africans are three women, two toddlers and 24 unaccompanied minors who braved the dangerous crossing in search of a better life in Europe. The Italian government has taken a hard line against immigration and has previously resisted attempts by rescue ships to land migrants in its territory.

A prolonged standoff with the Open Arms this summer was only resolved after a court-ordered authorities to open a port, allowing 100 migrants to disembark. On the Italian island of Lampedusa, the bodies of five women were retrieved early on Sunday after their boat capsized in bad sea conditions on Saturday, Italian Coast Guard said.

Three were found at sea and two more on a beach, a Coast Guard statement said. Searches were continuing but bad weather was complicating the effort. The Coast Guard saved 149 people on Saturday, including 13 women and three children, from the sinking vessel after it was reported in distress less than one mile off Lampedusa.

Survivors said up to 20 people were unaccounted for, a judicial source said. Those missing at sea were from Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan. There have been nearly 1,000 confirmed deaths on the three main migration routes across the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

"We need decisive action from the Italian government and form Europe to stop human traffickers," Lampedusa Mayor Salvatore Martello said from Barcelona, where he is meeting his counterpart Ada Colau to discuss the migrant crisis.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

WEF2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

Videos

Latest News

Tanzania president moves to ease fears over election

Dar es Salaam, Jan 22 AFP Tanzanian President John Magufuli has promised this years general election will be free and fair and invited international monitors to observe proceedings amid concerns of a democratic crackdown in the East African...

R'than panchayat polls: 35 pc voter turnout in first four hours of second phase

Nearly 35 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first four hours of polling for the the second phase of panchayat elections in Rajasthan on Wednesday, a state election department spokesperson said. The polling began at 8 am.Voting is b...

Japanese Ambassador, Dr. Jitendra Singh discuss mutual cooperation related issues

A delegation led by the Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Satoshi Suzuki called on the Union Minister of State IC Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jiten...

Desert locust invasion spares India a big hit

India has been able to bring swarms of desert locusts under control in two key oilseed producing states and authorities are now trying to assess crop damage, officials said on Wednesday.A number of timely measures and a change in wind direc...

Give Feedback