Migrants on-board Open Arms disembark
Migrants on-board the Open Arms rescue ship disembarked the vessel at the Italian port of Lampedusa late last night after spending 19 days stranded at sea.
It comes after an Italian prosecutor ordered the seizure of the ship.
Almost 100 migrants, rescued off the coast of Libya, had been on the ship — and Tuesday saw 15 of them jump off the boat in a desperate bid to escape deteriorating conditions.
The Spanish government said it would send a navy ship to the Italian island of Lampedusa to escort the Open Arms rescue ship back to Spain.
An Italian prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the more than 80 remaining migrants on the Open Arms charity vessel to disembark in Sicily after the ship was stranded for days off Lampedusa.
Prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio also ordered the vessel seized after inspecting the boat on which some of the migrants have spent 19 days and “given the difficult situation on board,” a judicial source said.
Spain and four other EU states agreed to take in migrants stranded for weeks on the Open Arms rescue ship, EU authorities said on Wednesday, ending a prolonged standoff with the Italian government over their fate.