Stranded migrants disembark in Valencia

Three ships carrying 630 people saved by the Aquarius arrive in Spain

Migrants disembark in Valencia (by REUTERS/Heino Kalis)
Migrants disembark in Valencia (by REUTERS/Heino Kalis) / ACN

ACN | Valencia

June 17, 2018 11:41 AM

A fleet of three ships carrying some 630 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean sea for nine days arrived in Valencia on Sunday, where the Spanish government offered a safe harbor after Italy and Malta rejected to do so.

The Italian coast guard vessel Dattilo was the first to arrive. With 274 people on board, including 32 women and 60 unaccompanied minors, the ship berthed in Valencia at 6:45 am. Two more ships arrived throughout the day, including the Aquarius, run by French charities SOS Mediterranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

“The men, women, and children on board the Aquarius have fled conflict and poverty, and have survived horrific abuse in Libya. They have been shipped from one boat to another like cargo and endured the elements on an unnecessarily long journey at sea,” said Karline Kleijer, MSF Head of Emergencies.

As the trip to Spain was first deemed too dangerous for the Aquarius alone, Italy offered two vessels to escort the ship to Valencia and carry some people.