Tuesday August 14, 2018
Migrants sit aboard the rescue ship Aquarius in the Mediterranean. Monday the humanitarian groups SOS Mediterreanee and Doctors Without Borders called for a port in Europe in which the ship could dock. Photo courtesy SOS Mediterranee/EPA-EFE
Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A ship carrying nearly
150 migrants who were rescued in Mediterranean Sea is searching for a
place to dock, after being denied entry to ports in Malta and Italy, its
The vessel, Aquarius, rescued migrants
from international waters on Friday with the help of Libya. The Libyan
government, though, said it "cannot offer a safe place" to dock.Malta refused the ship's call for a port and Italy did not answer it,
humanitarian groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders said.
In a Twitter message Monday, the groups called on any European government to offer a port of safety.
The migrants were rescued last week after their two wooden boats
capsized. Of the 141 migrants aboard, 67 are unaccompanied minors, and
more than a third are from Eritrea or Somalia, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
The humanitarian groups said the Aquarius is adrift between Italy and
Malta, and awaiting instructions. It is the only rescue ship in the
area of the Mediterranean where migrants' vessels are known to capsize.
The Aquarius faced a similar issue in June, when it rescued 630
migrants and delivered them to Spain -- again after Malta and Italy
declined to accept them.
Official sources in Spain say they are reluctant to accept more
migrants because international law calls for the country nearest the
rescue, in this case Italy or Malta, to be responsible for the refugees.