The Malta Independent 25 March 2019, Monday

Watch: Migrant on board Sea-Watch 3 jumps into sea in desperate attempt to reach Malta

Friday, 4 January 2019, 15:28 Last update: about 4 months ago

One of the 32 migrants on board the Sea-Watch 3 jumped into the sea in a desperate attempt to reach Malta, La Repubblica reports.

The Italian news portal also uploaded a video of the man who is seen in the water as the crew of the vessel are about to take him back on board.

The man, according to La Repubblica, wanted to reach Malta but was quickly helped back on board. The cold water as well as the distance between the vessel and the land, seen in the background, would have made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the man to arrive to the shore safely.

ADVERTISEMENT

The migrants have been at sea for 14 days as European countries are refusing permission for the vessel to dock. Appeals have been made for governments to show sensitivity and allow the migrants a safe harbour.

The Sea-Watch 3 was on Wednesday given permission to move closer to Malta so that the vessel could take shelter from bad weather that is closing in on the islands.

The vessel, operated by the German NGO Sea-Watch, rescued the migrants following a distress call on 22 December, and has been stranded at sea ever since.

There are four women, three unaccompanied minors, two young children and a baby amongst the 32 rescued migrants onboard the Sea-Watch 3, along with 22 crew members.

The Netherlands announced on Wednesday it was prepared to welcome some of the 32 migrants waiting to disembark from a Dutch-flagged vessel off Malta if other countries did the same.

In a tweet, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said Malta was not responsible for the rescue missions. Maps he uploaded show that the migrants were intercepted by the Sea Watch 3 and the Prof Albrecht Penek 179 and 183 nautical miles from Malta respectively. They were close to the Libyan coast.

"These were the positions of the #NGO vessels #Seawatch3 and #ProfAlbrechtPenek when they conducted interceptions of migrants who are still on board. #Malta was neither the appropriate nor the competent SAR Authority," Farrugia tweeted. 

On Monday, a spokesperson for Sea-Watch said that Malta was negotiating a redistribution of the migrants across Europe, but a joint statement from Sea-Watch and Sea-Eye issued on the same day, whilst understanding the need for such an agreement, called for both vessels to be allowed into port whilst the negotiations are ongoing so to ensure the safety of all those onboard.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of Malta over the course of the New Year rescued 249 migrants in three separate operations, bringing all three groups to Malta. 

  • don't miss