Rescue ship carrying 257 migrants docks in Trapani, almost a week after rescuing them off Tunisia

0
145

A ship carrying 257 migrants docked in the Italian port of Trapani on Saturday almost a week after rescuing the people from international waters off Tunisia.

Migrants onboard the vessel, mainly men from Morocco, Bangladesh, Egypt and Syria, waved and applauded as the ship, run by German organisation Sea Watch, approached the port of Trapani on the Italian island of Sicily.

One sat on deck and held up a sign which read “Italy Good”.

The migrants were tested for COVID-19 before being transferred onto a quarantine ship where they are expected to stay for two weeks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, a Reuters witness said.

Sea Watch and Ocean Viking, a vessel run by European charity SOS Mediterranee, pulled a total of 394 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean last Sunday and have been looking for a port to disembark since. Ocean Viking is still at sea.

Migrant boat departures from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and other parts of Europe have increased in recent months due to warmer weather.

According to the U.N.-affiliated International Organization for Migration, more than 1,100 people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have perished this year in the Mediterranean.

IOL