Over 160 migrants rescued off Libya’s coast disembark im Italian port

Migrants disembarked in Italy. [Photo: Social Media]
Over 160 migrants and refugees rescued off the Libyan coast have disembarked in the southern Italian port of Taranto, the NGO SOS Mediterranee said on Tuesday.

The migrants, including 50 children and five pregnant women, “were rescued by the SOS Mediterranee Search and Rescue team in two critical rescues in international waters off the coast of Libya on Friday, December 20th”, said the NGO, which charters the Ocean Viking rescue ship along with medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF).

The first operation involved a rubber dinghy that had deflated and was carrying 112 “terrified” people on board, it said.

Fifty others were rescued from a wooden boat shortly before midnight the same day “in dangerous meteorological and maritime conditions”, the NGO added.

The 50 could not be transported to Malta due to adverse weather conditions.

Italian authorities then gave permission for all the rescued migrants to land in Taranto and the operation was carried out on Monday, SOS Mediterranee said.

It described both rescue operations as “extremely difficult”.

“As the weather was rapidly and severely deteriorating, both cases would almost certainly have resulted in tragedies if help had arrived only a little later,” said Nicola Stalla, the NGO’s search and rescue coordinator on board the Ocean Viking.

In October, Italy renewed a widely criticised 2017 agreement with the Libyan coastguard to block migrants trying to leave for Europe.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Over 160 migrants rescued off Libya’s coast disembark im Italian port

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.