Open Arms rescue ship in ‘critical’ situation with 107 on board
Stranded for 18 days, Catalan NGO calls for safe harbor: ‘If the worst happens, Europe and Salvini will be responsible’
With 107 migrants stranded for 18 days in the Mediterranean, Open Arms has called the situation aboard its rescue ship "critical" and demanded to be able to disembark in the closest port on the island of Lampedusa, Italy.
"Their health conditions are critical, their safety is at risk," said Oscar Camps, the founder of the Catalan NGO. "If the worst happens, Europe and [Italy’s interior minister Matteo] Salvini will be responsible."
While Italian ports remain closed for the NGO, Camps also criticized the Spanish government offering a safe harbor only on Sunday.
With our ship 800 meters off Lampedusa, European governments are asking a small NGO to face a thousand extra miles and three more days sailing with adverse weather conditions, with 107 exhausted people aboard after 18 days,” said Open Arms in a press release.
Spain’s vice president played down the NGO’s concerns and said that the rescue ship should be able to travel to a port in the Balearic islands “without any problems".