A SPANISH charity ship has rescued 265 migrants in their attempt to cross the central Meditteranean, including a pregnant woman and six babies.
The Open Arms charity, a Spanish humanitarian NGO based in Badalona, currently operates the only rescue ship patrolling the central Meditteranean for migrants.
On Sunday (January 3rd), the ship managed to rescue 96 migrants who were stranded 20 miles off the Italian island of Sicily in a wooden boat with no life jackets. Many of the vessel’s young passengers were treated for malnutrition and hypothermia by charity workers, who work wearing hazmat suits to prevent Covid-19 infections.
Just two days before (Friday, January 1st), the charity intercepted 169 migrants who had recently departed from the shores of Libya where ruthless human traffickers are rife. Among the migrants, most of whom were from the collapsed African state of Eritrea, was a pregnant woman 9 months into her term as well as six babies. The youngest infant was a 10-month old boy, and the health of the babies is of serious concern to rescuers after their ordeal at sea.
The charity’s ship was denied entry by Malta, and are currently in talks with Italian authorities to find a safe port to dock with the migrants. Aboard the NGO vessel, migrants must wear facemasks at all times as there is a high risk of Covid-19 transmissions.
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