Open Arms ship immobilized due to safety concern regarding 'severe anomalies'

Italian coast guard inspections have exposed safety risks in the ship’s structure

83 migrants were evacuated from the Open Arms ship on Wednesday (Reuters)
83 migrants were evacuated from the Open Arms ship on Wednesday (Reuters) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

August 23, 2019 11:56 AM

Inspections carried out by the Italian coast guard on the Open Arms ship on Thursday have led to the “immediate administrative closure” of the vessel due to safety doubts. 

These doubts specifically concern the “regulations regarding the protection of the marine environment, and the training and familiarity of the crew with the emergency procedures.”

In his statement to the media, the coast guard has said that the immobilization will remain in full effect until the detected “technical and operative anomalies” are resolved. 

On Wednesday, the ship was able to dock in the port of Lampedusa, and the 83 immigrants on board the ship were successfully brought to land. 

The ship had been stuck on the water in a 19-day stalemate. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused to offer safe harbour to the ship, despite the only other option being docking the ship in the Balearics, 1000 miles away.

However, Italian authorities ordered for the ship to dock on Wednesday due to health concerns. All people on board were subsequently evacuated.

Deputy Prime Minister of Spain Carmen calvo has confirmed that Spain will welcome 15 of the migrants, who will be transferred to Spanish Navy ship ‘Audacious’.