NGO Ships Moving To Rescue 400 Migrants At Sea

The NGO ships Open Arms and Ocean Viking have rescued more than 400 migrants at sea and are currently waiting for E.U ports to give permission to dock.

Spanish NGO Proactiva ship Open Arms, with 147 migrants on board, has been stranded at sea for 13 days.  

Malta has agreed to receive the last 39 migrants rescued but denied access to the rest of the people, which generated tension on the ship. Oscar Camps, the founder of the NGO, refused to accept this offer for security reasons.

“The anxiety level of these people is unsustainable,” he tweeted.

According to the activist, the refusal to disembark the other 121 migrants who have been waiting for 10 days “has generated a serious safety problem on board.”

The nearest ports, Italy and Malta refused to give access because there have been no negotiations made on how to relocate the people among EU member states.

“According to maritime law, in international waters, any person in danger must be assisted,” said Camps in a press conference on Saturday.

“This Europe without memory does not allow these people, whose lives are in danger, to use safe roads. Without safe roads, Europe is giving all those lives to organized crime,” he added.

The second ship, Ocean Viking, which belongs to NGO SOS Mediterranean and MSF (Doctors Without Borders) rescued 85 migrants on Friday, 80 people on Saturday and 81 more migrants on Sunday. 

Mostly Sudanese men and adolescents were picked up off the coast of Libya during three rescue missions.

Frédéric Penard, the director of operations for SOS Méditerranée, has voiced concern as to where the vessel might dock in Europe or if it will be able to dock at all.  He also urged EU members to work together and find a solution.

“We are worried, but the Ocean Viking has been equipped to prepare for this eventuality,” Penard said.

Meanwhile, Italy’s anti-immigration interior minister, Matteo Salvini, already issued an order banning the two ships from Italy. 

“Italy is not a refugee camp for Europe. Go either to Spain or Norway,” he told Italian media.

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