Rescue ship picks up 300 boat migrants in Mediterranean

Rome, May 2 (EFE).- Some 300 migrants have been rescued from a boat in the central Mediterranean after a four-hour operation, the Geo Barents sea rescue ship operated by Doctors without Borders (MSF) said early Tuesday.

“#GeoBarents today rescued around 300 people, including many women and children, from an overcrowded wooden boat in distress,” the organization wrote on Twitter.

The ship, which brought 75 migrants to Naples in southern Italy in the early hours of Tuesday after rescuing them last week, located the boat after receiving a distress signal from Alarm Phone, a hotline service for distressed migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

“Following the alert received from the @alarm_phone, it took us about four hours to complete this rescue operation,” it said. “Everyone is now safely on board the ship and being cared for by our team.”

Alarm Phone has also received a distress call from a boat carrying 36 people off the search and rescue (SAR) zone of Malta.

“Alarm Phone was alerted to a small boat in distress and informed authorities. A merchant vessel was on scene but left again. Yet again an example of RCC (the Rescue Coordination Center) Malta’s policy of non-assistance,” the service posted on Twitter.

A few hours before Geo Barents’ rescue operation, the Nadir humanitarian vessel, run by NGO Resqhip, gave life jackets to 35 distressed migrants and waited for the Italian Coast Guard to come and rescue them. They are expected to be transferred to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

These fresh migrant rescue operations come after a new wave of arrivals was recorded off the Italian coast last week, with nearly 3,000 people landing in Lampedusa in 48 hours alone.

A total of 40,856 migrants arrived in Italy in the first four months of 2023, compared to 10,188 in 2022, according to official figures from the Italian interior ministry. EFE


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