In Sicily, more than 200 migrants disembarked from the Ocean Viking ship, half of them were minors
In the port of Augusta in Sicily, 236 migrants disembarked from the ship Ocean Viking today. They were rescued by the rescue organisation SOS Mediterranee on Tuesday from two stranded rubber boats off the west coast of Libya. As many as half of them are unaccompanied minors, reports the French news agency AFP.
According to the rescue organisation, smugglers beat many of these migrants and forced them to board, even some of the 119 unaccompanied minors.
Photographs testify that all 236 migrants disembarked today in the port of Augusta in Sicily. The minors were taken to a special reception building.
The charity, based in Marseille, France, took the opportunity to call for the re-establishment of an effective European migrant search and rescue programme, seven years after the end of the Mare Nostrum maritime rescue operation.
As they pointed out, Europe should not remain passive in the face of ever new shipwrecks. In addition to three other merchant vessels, Ocean Viking is the only ship that tried to save people from a shipwreck on April 22nd. At the time, the rescue for the 130 migrants whose boat capsized came too late.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 453 migrants who tried to enter Europe via the Mediterranean have already died this year. Meanwhile, the SOS Mediterranee organisation has rescued almost 33,000 people at sea since February 2016, according to STA.