Italian Authorities Unable to Recieve 700 Migrants on a Medicins Sans Frontieres Rescue Boat

“Italian island turns away migrant boat with hundreds on board – because it has run out of room,” by Caroline Mortimer for the Independent:

Italian authorities have prevented a rescue boat with 700 migrants on board from landing on the island of Sicily because there is not enough room for them.

Just seven people who needed urgent medical attention were let off the boat run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers when it docked on Friday.

The charity said that despite negotiations, the authorities turned it away due to a “lack of capacity in the Italian (migrant) reception system”, according to the Local Italy…

Here is a news report from Medicins Sans Frontieres on their rescue operation:

Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) search and rescue vessel Bourbon Argos is currently navigating the northern coast of Sicily with about 700 people on board, towards the port of Reggio Calabria, where it should -and Saturday early morning. Despite lengthy discussions with Italian authorities and efforts by the Italian Coastguards, the Bourbon Argos was not authorised to disembark the 700 migrants in Sicily due to lack of capacity of the reception system.

On Wednesday 15 July the Bourbon Argos rescued 678 people from six different boats and received one more patient transferred for medical reasons from an Italian Coastguards vessel. Among the migrants rescued were people from Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia.

“The MSF team has worked round the clock and has provided care to those needing medical attention. The vessel is completely overcrowded and the migrants are staying on the deck in a very limited space,” says Alexander Buchman, MSF coordinator on the Bourbon Argos. “For the last 24 hours this has caused tensions between the people and posed serious security concerns aboard the vessel.”…

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