The Italian Coast Guard reported this Sunday the disembarkation of 517 migrants who have been rescued in Mediterranean waters. The migrants are already in the port of Crotona, in the Italian region of Calabria.
A first landing took place at dawn this Sunday, when 90 people arrived at the port aboard a sailing ship intercepted at sea by a patrol boat of the Italian Finance Guard.
In a second landing, 400 people descended late Sunday morning from a Russian-flagged merchant ship, the ‘Mekhanik Herokin’, which had rescued these migrants near the coast of Crotona.
The ship was too big to dock, so the Coast Guard moved the migrants in groups of 90. Among them are mainly Afghans, Syrians and unaccompanied minors. In addition, there are women with children and some pregnant women, one of whom had to be hospitalized.
Also on Sunday, 27 migrants who were traveling in a small boat were rescued and were located by the Coast Guard near Crotona.
With these three landings, there are already six registered in Crotona within 24 hours after the three operations on Christmas Day to rescue 289 people, including 90 unaccompanied minors.
A Red Cross spokeswoman, Ivana Mangione, explained that “the migrants arrived particularly exhausted, dehydrated and exhausted.” “The trip to the coast of Crotona lasted between six and seven days and took place in difficult conditions. Fortunately, only one person has tested positive for COVID at the moment, ”he indicated, according to the Gazzeta del Sud newspaper.
For its part, The German NGO Sea-Watch announced this Saturday that it rescued a total of 270 migrants in the Mediterranean central in rescue operations carried out since Friday by its vessel “Sea-Watch 3”.
The ship assisted two inflatable boats stranded overnight and in the early hours of Saturday, the NGO announced on its Twitter account.
There were about 100 and 80 people on board the two inflatable boats and they were rescued some 70 km off the Libyan coast, a spokesman told AFP.
The Sea Watch crew is now handling some 270 migrants in total, following a first rescue on Friday morning of 93 migrants who were in international waters south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The “Sea Watch 3” launched its “Christmas operation” on Thursday night while “the atmosphere in Europe is festive” and “people continue to flee across the Mediterranean,” according to another tweet.
That vessel has been sailing off the coast of Libya since November 2017 in search of boats in distress.
The lifeless bodies of 28 migrants were found on Saturday on the west coast of Libya after the sinking of their boata security source told AFP on Sunday.
“The teams of the Red Crescent recovered 28 bodies of dead migrants, as well as three survivors, in two different places of the Al Alus beaches” 90 kilometers from the capital, Tripoli, declared a local security official.
“The advanced state of decomposition of the bodies indicates that the shipwreck occurred a few days ago,” he added.
In images of the local press, the bodies were seen lined up on the shore.
This drama occurs a few days later of the announcement of the death of 160 migrants due to the wreck of their respective boats (on the west coast of Libya), which brings to 1,500 the number of deaths on this route since the beginning of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
More than 30,000 people have been rescued or intercepted since the beginning of this year off the Libyan coast, according to the IOM.
This North African country is an important crossing point for tens of thousands of migrants who seek each year to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe via Italy., which is 300 kilometers away.
Plunged into a devastating political crisis after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya is under harsh criticism for the poor treatment of migrants.
With information from Europa Press and AFP
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