A PRIVATE ship, used by a humanitarian group to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, was forced to stopover in France while it waited for a new flag.
SOS Mediterranee’ missions were put on hold last Thursday as the Aquarius made a stopover in Marseille, but the crew said it was ‘determined to go back to sea as soon as possible’.
The group urged European governments to find a new flag to secure the ship’s future after Panama’s maritime authority removed the vessel’s registration.
The Aquarius transferred 58 migrants, who had been stuck at sea for 58 days, to a Maltese naval vessel last weekend. They were expected to be taken to four countries which agreed to accept them, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal.
Aquarius has been in the news over the past year for a series of rescues, and for being refused leave to land migrants in Italy, instead heading for Spain.