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Mediterranean: Corsica Linea ferry rescues 18 drifting migrants


While rescues of migrants at sea are frequent from commercial vessels, they are much rarer on the part of ships carrying passengers.

The Corsica Linea ferry is approaching the port of Marseille on 20 August 2019. CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

"We only did our job as seafarers" : on the night of Sunday 1 to Monday 2 September, a ferry company Corsica Linea rescued 18 migrants drifting in the Mediterranean. A very rare rescue from a ship carrying passengers.

"We have helped people in distress at sea, we have applied the principle of solidarity between seafarers , " told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Pasquine Albertini on Monday, the spokesman for the company.

These migrants, candidates for exile to Europe - including minors - were a priori at sea for several days when they crossed the Mediterranean road, a Corsica Linea ferry left Algiers Sunday for Marseille, with more than 2,000 passengers on board. Drifting on a small motor boat, apparently out of fuel, they were hoisted aboard the Mediterranean and immediately examined by medical staff: "Their health is relatively good," said the spokesman the company.

These 18 migrants, probably from North Africa, were landed in the port of Alcudia, Mallorca, on Monday: "In accordance with international regulations, the ship landed them in the most safe harbor. close, " said Albertini, adding that the ferry had resumed its route to Marseille, where it must arrive Tuesday.

Read also Despite obstacles, relief NGOs resist in the Mediterranean

Humanitarian ships prevented from operating

While rescues of migrants at sea are frequent on commercial vessels - container ships, tankers and ore carriers - they are much rarer by passenger ships.

Rescues by NGOs such as SOS Mediterranean are only a minor part of all the rescues at sea. The proportion of rescue at sea by humanitarian vessels reached 40%, its maximum, in 2017, according to a report of the Italian coasts which then coordinated all these operations in the Mediterranean.

Since that date, many humanitarian ships have been prevented from operating, placed in receivership or subjected to legal proceedings. And the Maltese and Italian ports are now almost completely closed to the latest NGOs still trying to save lives in the Mediterranean, such as SOS Mediterranean and Doctors Without Borders with the Ocean-Viking .

The humanitarian ship Eleonore of the German NGO Lifeline, with a hundred migrants on board, was seized Monday by the Italian authorities after he violated the ban on entry into the territorial waters to dock south of the Sicily. The Ocean-Viking , back in Marseille on August 27, after rescuing 356 migrants adrift, said he wanted to leave "as soon as possible . "

Read the platform: "We must create a" right to save "unconditional and applicable at European level"

Source: lemonde

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