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US News With 118 migrants on board, the Ocean Viking awaits a landing port

14:55  30 june  2020
14:55  30 june  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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The Norwegian-flagged ship ‘ Ocean Viking ’ already stranded at sea for 13 days awaiting port access, has been denied entry by Malta and its two requests to Italian authorities have gone unanswered, they said. The ship is carrying mostly Africans from Sudan, plucked from the sea in four separate missions.

Rescued migrants rest aboard the Ocean Viking ship at the Mediterranean Sea, August 21, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video. People should be transported but not living on it,” MSF’s Berger said, adding that there was no certainty those on board could endure the wait Open

The SOS Mediterranean ambulance boat is between the coasts of Malta and Italy, waiting to be able to dock in a port.

Le navire de secours Ocean Viking, affrêté par l'ONG SOS Méditerranée, le 15 septembre 2019 au large de Lampedusa en Italie © afp.com/Alessandro SERRANO The rescue vessel Ocean Viking, chartered by the NGO SOS Mediterranean, on September 15, 2019 off Lampedusa in Italy

The Ocean Viking, which carried assistance Thursday in the Mediterranean to 118 migrants fleeing Libya, has already made "three requests" to Italy and Malta to be assigned a port of disembarkation, said Monday the NGO which charters the ship.

READ ALSO >> Italy: more than a hundred migrants rescued off Lampedusa

On the other hand, said in the evening SOS Mediterranean, Italy accepted the request for medical evacuation of a migrant who had been placed in isolation from Thursday for a fever, in the context of the coronavirus health crisis. His condition "worsened during the day" on Tuesday and a transhipment to an Italian coast guard vessel was expected around 11 p.m., the NGO said.

Belgium. Fifteen migrants trying to reach the United Kingdom rescued at sea

 Belgium. Fifteen migrants trying to reach the United Kingdom rescued at sea © KURT DESPLENTER / AFP The Belgian coast guards rescued fifteen migrants boarded a canoe in the North Sea (file photo). Belgian authorities announced this Sunday, June 28, that they had rescued fifteen migrants trying to reach the United Kingdom by sea. They were on board a seven-seat canoe that left from Dunkirk (North) on Friday evening.

The plight of the Ocean Viking , run by MSF and another French charity, SOS Méditerranée, threatens to create another migration standoff with Italy if it chooses to head there, after "Leaving migrants on rescue boats for weeks until the crisis becomes an emergency is becoming the new norm," he said.

Rescued migrants rest aboard the Ocean Viking , run by French charities Medecins Sans Frontieres and SOS Mediterranee, as it waits in international People should be transported but not living on it,” MSF’s Berger said, adding that there was no certainty those on board could endure the wait Open

The SOS Mediterranean ambulance boat is currently between the coasts of Malta and Italy, waiting to be able to dock in a port. "We made three requests, Friday morning, Saturday and today (Monday) late in the morning, but we did not receive a response, not even an acknowledgment of receipt" from the authorities concerned, deplored the spokesperson for the NGO, Laurence Bondard.

"Illegal under international maritime law"

"It is unacceptable and illegal under international maritime law which is very clear: anyone saved at sea must be able to be disembarked as quickly as possible in a safe place", a- she added. It is "urgent" that the 118 people collected Thursday on two wooden boats "be taken care of", underlined the spokeswoman, adding that on the fourth day of waiting, the migrants "begin to be anxious".

Migrants. The situation is getting worse on board the Ocean Viking

 Migrants. The situation is getting worse on board the Ocean Viking © Flavio Gasperini / SOS Méditerranée On June 25, 2020, the "Ocean Viking" collected 51 people crammed into a makeshift boat. The "citizen ship" chartered by the SOS Mediterranean organization now has 180 survivors on board. Some for a week. The wait begins to be long for those rescued by the Ocean Viking in international waters between Malta and Libya. Some have been on board the rescue vessel chartered by SOS Mediterranean since Thursday 25 June.

The plight of the Ocean Viking , run by MSF and another French charity, SOS Méditerranée, threatens to create another migration standoff with Italy if it chooses to head there, after “Leaving migrants on rescue boats for weeks until the crisis becomes an emergency is becoming the new norm,” he said.

The plight of the Ocean Viking , run by MSF and another French charity, SOS Méditerranée, threatens to create another migration standoff with Italy if it chooses to head there, after "Leaving migrants on rescue boats for weeks until the crisis becomes an emergency is becoming the new norm," he said.

The first rescue operation took place in international waters, close to Italy and Malta, while the second was carried out in the Maltese search and rescue area, according to the NGO. "We call on the Italian and Maltese authorities to mobilize immediately and in solidarity," said the NGO, which resumed operations a week ago after three months of stoppage linked to the health crisis.

The docking of migrant boats remains subject to strict rules due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Twenty-eight of the 209 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by the German NGO Sea Watch and then placed in quarantine on a ferry in a Sicilian port, tested positive for coronavirus last week. The Maltese authorities have set up a similar system of quarantine at sea on tourist boats.

Coronavirus. Italy imposes a quarantine in Sicily on the humanitarian ship Ocean Viking .
© GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP The Ocean Viking, July 6, 2020, in the port of Porto Empedocle, Sicily. The Italian maritime authorities on Tuesday imposed a quarantine on the Ocean Viking off the Sicilian port of Porto Empedocle, where the humanitarian ship landed overnight 180 migrants gathered at sea, announced its charterer SOS Mediterranean.

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