With more migrants, NGO rescue ships seek safe harbor
EUROPE

With more migrants, NGO rescue ships seek safe harbor

Ocean Viking vessel rescued 34 irregular migrants and is now looking for a safe port in Europe

News Service AA

An NGO vessel which newly rescued 34 irregular migrants from the Mediterranean continues to wait at sea for a safe port, according to the Italian media.

Ocean Viking, belonging to French NGOs Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranean, already had 50 migrants on board before early Tuesday, when the number swelled to 84.

The Alan Kurdi vessel, belonging to German NGO Sea-Eye, also continues to wait for a safe port with five migrants on board which it rescued on Aug 31.

Sea-Eye said in a statement that they requested safe port from Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but Italy has already turned them down.

The vessels join a long list of rescue ships which have often found themselves unwelcome at the frontiers of Europe, especially under Italy’s previous government and its right-wing interior minister.

More than 39,000 irregular migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019. As many as 840 died at sea, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

At least 30,500 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, the IOM said in January.

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