Ocean Viking migrant rescue ship reaches Adriatic port
Ancona – The Ocean Viking vessel has survived the storms and waves 6 meters tall, bringing to safety 37 migrants from Libya, but the other boat, the Geo Barents still has to arrive.
The captains of the two ships that the Italian Interior Ministry redirected to Ancona have asked for closer ports in view of the storm that was predicted to prolong the four day journey needed to arrive at destination. ‘Just as we predicted, the bad weather has dangerously worsened. The 37 survivors will now have to deal with 40 knots of wind and waves reaching up to 6 meters in height. Almost all of them are sea-sick. It all could have been avoided if a closer port was assigned.’ Tweeted Sos Mediterranee while waiting for the ship to get to quay 22 of the port. The previous day Matteo Piantedosi, Italian Interior Minister, had reassured that the weather conditions were ‘not prohibitive’ as he sent back to the senders the protests made by the NGOs in sight of the assignations of the port so far from the area where the rescue operation that saved 110 people took place, along the northern coast of Libya. In the meanwhile the storm will delay the arrival of the Geo Barents of the Doctors Without Borders NGO, that is currently believed not to arrive any time before Wednesday evening or even Thursday.
The clash between the Italian Government and the NGOs in charge of saving lives in the Mediterranean sea worsens as the organizations argue that the situation was predictable and avoidable by all means.
Among the 37 survivors are 25 adults, who will be sent to an accommodation center, and 12 unaccompanied minors, who will be assigned to centers for minors in the Marche region based on the availability of the spots. The same will happen to the Geo Barents minors, but as of now the fate of the adults has not been decided.
The PD Democratic Party complains about the government ‘it (the government) prolonged the suffering of the people who already suffered enough back in Libya.’
Among the survivors is a 21 year old originally from Eritrea, who grew up in Sudan and later migrated to Libya in search of a job. ‘They tied me up, and burnt me with metal rod. My chest is not full of scars […] They forced us to call our families and beg them for money to let us live’ he told the boat crew as they were on their way to Ancona. ‘I was prepared to die in the sea as long as I was not going to get captured by the Libyan coastguard and brought back to endure even more tortures. – I now feel much safer on this boat and I can’t wait to step on the Italian soil and forget about my past, but I am still scared as we did not yet get to the port and could always go back.’ He adds.
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