The rescue ship ‘Ocean Viking’, belonging to the humanitarian organization SOS Méditerranée and the only one currently operating in the Central Mediterranean, has been carried out in recent hours several rescue operations that have led it to rescue 132 migrants who they were traveling in dire conditions.
The organization has reported that the latest rescue, the fourth in four days, occurred on Saturday in the area near Malta . A total of 67 people were rescued from the wooden boat in which they were traveling when it was about to capsize.
Among those rescued were four women traveling alone, a child and 20 unaccompanied minors. Hours earlier they had had to rescue another 21 people , including four minors, who were in a fiberglass boat filled with water and gasoline.
On Friday they picked up another 44 people in two other rescue operations, at which point the presence of a Libyan patrol boat put the operation in jeopardy. This is not the first time that Libyan patrol boats (using vessels acquired from the Italian navy) have hindered rescue operations.
In this sense, the Agrigento prosecutor’s office (Sicily, southern Italy) has opened an investigation into the attack perpetrated last Wednesday by a Libyan coast guard ship , from which a boat with migrants was shot in the search area and Malta rescue.
The opening of the file for a possible crime of attempted murder occurred after the brief presented by the NGO Sea-Watch International , which on Thursday alerted on social networks that members of the organization who were traveling in their Seabird plane had seen and recorded the attack.
The Italian authorities keep five other humanitarian vessels blocked for alleged irregularities : the Sea Eye 4, the Alan Kurdi and the Sea Watch 3 and 4, which were added yesterday by the Geo Barents, from Doctors Without Borders.
In the first six months of the year, more than 720 people died at sea and some 15,000 were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and illegally returned to Libya , an unsafe port where migrants are subjected to torture and even rape, according to reports. Rescue NGO in a statement collected by the Efe agency.
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