Rome, Jul 25 (EFE).- Humanitarian ships Sea Watch 3 and Ocean Viking waited for a safe port to disembark some 700 people on Monday after a new rescue in the central Mediterranean and as arrivals of migrants to the Italian coasts increase due to clear weather.
“Third rescue: the #OceanViking team evacuated 73 people, incl. a 1 y/o baby, from an unseaworthy rubber boat partially deflated found 37 NM from the Libyan coasts,” the NGO Sos Mediterranee wrote on Twitter, adding that the operation occurred after the alert of the Alarm Phone, a telephone helpline for migrants at sea.
There are now has 268 survivors on board, of which more than 100 are unaccompanied minors, added the French organization, which is waiting for a port to disembark its passengers while preparing for new operations.
When asked by EFE about the increase in the numbers of boats and people trying to reach Italy, sources from the NGO said it was difficult to estimate how many and that they “know from experience that departures multiply in good weather.”
In addition, another 439 people are on board Sea Watch 3 after an emergency evacuation in which the Italian coastguard transferred a heavily pregnant woman and her husband ashore, as well as a small child with serious burns and its parents.
The rest remain “waiting for a safe port of disembarkation,” said the German NGO Sea-Watch International.
More than 1,500 people have arrived in recent hours on the Italian coast in precarious boats, while security forces recovered five bodies and rescued 674 people from a fishing boat adrift off Calabria on Sunday.
In addition, some 900 migrants have landed since Saturday on the island of Lampedusa, where the reception center is once again saturated with more than 1,300 people, far above the 350 capacity.
According to the latest data from the interior ministry, more than 34,000 people have reached the Italian coast this year, compared to the 25,500 by the same time in 2021. EFE