Two Italian ports were grappling with the arrival of hundreds of migrants on Saturday, as a humanitarian ship headed to the port of Sicily with 236 people rescued from smugglers’ boats in the Mediterranean, while the Italian coastguard and police moved 532 others to a small ship. Island.
Marine rescue group SOS Mediterranee reports that a ship in their service, the Ocean Viking, rescued migrants who were traveling in two docks four days earlier. On instructions from the Italian authorities, the Ocean Viking was bound for Augusta, Sicily, with its passengers, which they said contained 119 unaccompanied minors.
SOS Mediterranee noted that some passengers have told rescuers that although the waves were high, traffickers in Libya beat them and forced them into inflatable boats unfit for travel by sea.
On the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, which is closer to North Africa than mainland Italy, Mayor Salvatore Martello said migrants rescued from four boats landed overnight on the coast. They were taken to the island in coast guard and customs police boats.
On the other hand, an Italian navy ship rescued 49 migrants, according to Italian state television.
Another humanitarian boat, Sea-Watch 4, with 308 people on board, was still rescued in four operations while on smuggling boats, Sea-Watch said in a statement. He added that the first rescue operation for 44 people took place on Thursday.
Sea-Watch 4 has asked Italy and Malta to establish a landing port for the migrants.
“The fact that we, as a civilian rescue ship, have saved so many people from misfortune at sea in such a short period of time shows the fundamental relief vacuum created by European countries at the most dangerous maritime borders in the world. The world,” he said. Hannah Wallace Bowman, Sea-Watch 4 Mission Head.
With warm spring weather, the number of boats that people smugglers send to Europe often increases.
Last month, SOS Mediterranean employees and a merchant ship found several bodies from a wrecked inflatable boat believed to have been carrying 130 migrants. The organization said that the people on the boat had sought help in the waters off Libya, but that no Libyan, Italian, or Maltese coastguard ships came to their aid. There were no survivors.
Italy is equipping and training the Libyan Coast Guard to assist migrants in its search and rescue zone, and discourage smugglers.