Time and again, volunteers set course to rescue migrants from distress in the Mediterranean. With hundreds of people on board, they often have to go for days without a safe harbor.
Pozzallo / Trapani (dpa) – Within one day, the Italian authorities assigned a port to two rescue ships carrying more than 800 boat migrants.
The “Sea-Watch 3” and the “Ocean Viking” were allowed to dock on the island of Sicily on Saturday. The “Sea-Watch 3” with almost 260 people on board reached the port of Trapani on the west coast in the morning. The “Ocean Viking” with about 550 rescued migrants is allowed to go to Pozzallo in the southeast, the organization SOS Méditerranée announced.
The teams of the two ships had previously rescued the migrants from distress in the central Mediterranean. Most refugees leave the coasts of Libya or Tunisia to reach the EU.
The boats are often overcrowded and in distress. More than 1,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean this year, according to the United Nations. The organization Doctors Without Borders is currently sailing through the region with the ship “Geo Barents”.
The helpers recently reported that many migrants were mentally and physically exhausted. Many would get seasick. For medical reasons, some migrants were allowed to land beforehand. According to the aid organization, there are also 118 minors on board the “Ocean Viking”. A total of about 550 migrants are expected to disembark in Pozzallo on Sunday. To do this, they must be tested for the coronavirus.