A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed February of 2019 after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 at the height of the migrant crisis, sparking global outrage. And yet another story Services on Wednesday about more desperate migrants risking it all for a better life. Most end up lost at sea, or left floundering on over crowded vessels with little to no cooperation from neighboring Countries.
ROME — A humanitarian aid ship carrying 64 rescued migrants was stuck in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday as both Italy and Malta refused it safe harbor, leaving the migrants sleeping in cramped conditions on deck as a storm approached.
Their refusal sets the stage for another Mediterranean migrant standoff that can only be resolved if some European Union members agree to accept the asylum-seekers.
Carlotta Weibl, spokeswoman for the German humanitarian organization Sea-Eye, said the ship was near the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday.
“We have no idea yet where we can disembark,” Weibl told The Associated Press. “Malta says we can’t enter their waters and we are unlikely to get permission from Italy.”
On Sea-Eye’s ship, the Alan Kurdi, rescued the migrants Wednesday near Libya after Libyan authorities could not be reached. It did so as it was looking for another smuggling boat with 50 migrants that has been missing since Monday and 40 other migrants missing at sea since last week.
“The chances are low that they are alive,” Weibl said.
The 64 migrants picked up included a newborn baby and a child, the group said. But Weibl said the ship is far too small for so many people and that people were sleeping outdoors on deck as it began to rain.
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s hard-line interior minister, said Wednesday that Italy would not accept the migrants and that since it was a German ship it should “go to Hamburg.”
Weibl said that suggestion was ridiculous. The German city of Hamburg is not even located on the Mediterranean Sea but on a river leading to the North Sea.
“It’s a journey of three to four weeks (to Hamburg). We don’t have food and water, so it’s completely out of the question,” she said.
Similar standoffs in recent months involving rescue ships hoping to reach Italy and Malta were eventually resolved when other EU members agreed to take some of the migrants.
However, many of those people still remain stuck in migrant centers in Malta and Italy.
However, the mood in Europe has turned against those making the dangerous journey even as the number of migrants making the dangerous sea crossing to Europe has dropped substantially since then.
Weibl said the Alan Kurdi is currently the only humanitarian ship operating in the Mediterranean because many governments have denied aid ships permission to operate.
This story has been corrected to reflect that there was one child, not five children, among the 64 rescued people.