The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

40-day nightmare is over: Stranded migrants disembark in Sicily

Sunday, 13 September 2020, 09:32 Last update: about 2 months ago

A group of migrants who had been stranded on a tanker off Malta for 40 days have disembarked in Sicily.

The migrants had been picked up by the Danish-flagged Maersk Etienne in early August. The vessel had anchored at Hurd’s Bank, a shallow bunkering area off Malta, but no country accepted to take in the migrants.

On Friday, the migrants were transferred onto the Mare Jonio, a rescue vessel operated by NGO Mediterranea. Its doctor said the migrants were in very bad physical and psychological shape. Some of the migrants had become suicidal, the doctor said.

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The NGO once again appealed to EU Member States to allow the migrants to disembark. After spending another day on the rescue boat, the migrants were finally allowed to disembark in Pozzallo.

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