The Malta Independent 20 May 2024, Monday
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Migration: Hunger strikes and attempted suicide on Captain Morgan migrant boats

Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 13:45 Last update: about 5 years ago

Migrants aboard the Captain Morgan boats that were sent to rescue migrants at sea have been going on hunger strikes and some have even attempted suicide.

This was reported on the NGO Alarm Phone Twitter page on Tuesday afternoon after multiple migrants managed to get in contact with them.

The post read; “For weeks, people rescued off Malta’s coast are kept on “Captain Morgan” ships. Some have found a way to reach out to us. They say that some started a hunger strike, others attempted to take their own lives out of desperation.”


Earlier this month, the Maltese government chartered two Captain Morgan vessels in order to house several migrants that were reported at sea.

The first vessel chartered was Captain Morgan’s Europa II. 58 migrants who were rescued in an operation coordinated by Malta were transferred onto the ship, which is carrying food and medical supplies.

The second Captain Morgan vessel, the Bahari, was chartered for a similar purpose after another 123 migrants were rescued in two separate operations. One group was rescued by an Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat while the other group was rescued by a private vessel at the request of the Maltese authorities.

18 women and children rescued in this week’s operation were brought to Malta while the other 105 people were transferred onto the Bahari.

Last Friday the Bahari was replaced by the bigger Atlantis as it has more space on board for the 110 people that were on the Bahari. Sources said, however, that the move could have come in anticipation of more migrant rescues. According to the Captain Morgan website, the Atlantis can carry 499 passengers, while the Bahari can carry up to 300 people.

The vessels are anchored 13 nautical miles out, just outside Maltese territorial waters.

The vessels are being used as a temporary solution to house migrants rescued at sea after the government closed the ports to migrants in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has been paying €3,000 per day for each vessel over the past weeks in which the ships have been at sea in order to provide food, water, fuel and other supplies.

Malta is calling on the EU to help with the relocation of the rescued migrants but has so far been unsuccessful.

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