Hundreds of migrants are waiting for sea rescue ships in front of Italy, for example in front of the port city of Catania. The situation on the ships is becoming increasingly desperate.
The situation on the two rescue ships at anchor in the Italian port city of Catania is getting more and more complicated. 35 migrants in the German “Humanity 1” and 214 migrants in the Norwegian “Geo Barents” are still waiting to come ashore. The Italian authorities refused, stating that they are not in an emergency situation.
During the weekend, 144 migrants and refugees were granted permission from “Humanity 1”, and 358 people from “Geo Barents”. Read more about this here. Italy’s new government of far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wants to severely limit uncontrolled migration across the Mediterranean.
Migrants are thrown into the harbor basin
According to the helpers, the situation was becoming increasingly unbearable for the people who had to wait for the Catania ships. On Monday afternoon, three migrants from “Geo Barents” jumped into the port to swim to the mainland. They were taken out of the water by coast guard officers and, according to the media, were unharmed.
At the pier, people on the ships could be heard calling for help. Some people aboard Germany’s Humanity 1 no longer wanted to eat as usual, a spokesman said.
“We treated several people with panic attacks.”
Rescuers claim that under international law, rescued people are allowed to board the ship at the nearest safe port. “We treated several people with panic attacks,” said MSF program coordinator Caroline Wilman.
The German captain of “Humanity 1” said during the impromptu press conference held in the port of Catania. “There is no way I can leave the port if those people are still on board.” He announced. “I am really angry and sad that I am being pushed into an illegal act.”
More ships from Sicily
Two other ships off the coast of Sicily were still awaiting permission to port on Monday evening. One of them is the “Rise Above” of the Dresden Mission Lifeline organization, with almost 90 migrants, whose fuel is slowly running out, as spokeswoman Hermine Poschmann told the German Press Agency.
The ship can only be refueled at the port. According to calculations, the fuel will run out on Tuesday, he said. More than 230 people had to endure the SOS Méditerranée “Ocean Viking”.
The EU Commission is calling on members to help
The EU Commission urges Rome to accept migrants quickly. “In accordance with international standards, every effort should be made to keep the time of those remaining on these ships as short as possible,” said a Commission representative in Brussels. All relevant authorities should work together to create a “suitable safe place”. The spokesperson welcomed the fact that last night Italy let several hundred women, children and wounded ashore.
Asked whether it was legal to allow only certain people to go ashore, the spokesman called on all EU countries to “save lives and ensure they fulfill their legal obligations to ensure that people at sea are rescued”. .