311 migrants arrive in Spain onboard Proactiva Open Arms boat
The vessel docked in the port of Crinavis near the southern city of Algeciras to applause and Proactiva Open Arms, the Spanish charity which runs the Open Arms vessel carrying them, feted the arrival with a “Mission accomplished” tweet.
“These are people, both children and adults, who have had really horrible experiences in both their countries of origin and during their journey,” Vicente Raimundo, the director of intervention in Spain for the NGO Save The Children.
He said some of the 139 children aboard came “from countries at war such as Somalia and Syria.”
The migrants started disembarking at around 10:30 am (0930 GMT), with children and women getting off first. They were met by Red Cross officials who gave them clothes and food and conducted medical tests if required.
Police will identify the migrants before moving them to shelters.
The migrants were rescued on December 21 from three vessels but were denied entry by Italy and Malta. Libya, France and Tunisia did not respond to Proactiva Open Arms’ requests for permission to dock, Madrid said.