Friday, January 14, 2022

NGO: Human lives at stake as Italy blocks migrant rescue ship – EURACTIV.com

Ocean Viking rescue ship

Delays caused by the blocking of the Ocean Viking rescue ship by Italian port authorities have put human lives at stake, Julia Schaefermeyer, communications officer at SOS Mediterranean, the NGO that charters the vessel, has told EURACTIV.

The vessel used to save migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea was detained in the Sicilian port of Trapani on Monday (10 January) where it was due to be subjected to a port state control.

“We are not able to continue our life-saving missions while the ship is detained. We know that 2022 was a particularly deadly year in the Central Mediterranean. The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 1,553 people lost their lives last year. So this is particularly painful for us,” Schaefermeyer said in a telephone interview from Trapani.

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