On June 30, the boat Open Arms, operated by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, rescued the distressed people stranded in a rubber dinghy.
After both Italy and Malta denied access to the boat, Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau announced on Saturday that the migrants were allowed to arrive in Barcelona.
Proactiva Open Arms said that all aboard the vessel Open Arms are heading to a safe port, having been faced with “inhumane policies and closed ports in Italy and Malta”.
“Despite obstacles, we continue to protect the right to life of those invisible and most vulnerable at sea,” the NGO added.
The 4,000 BHP Open Arms is scheduled to arrive in Barcelona on July 4.
Over 200 migrants drowned in the past few days in the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). On July 1, a small rubber boat carrying migrants capsized off Al Khums, east of Tripoli. Some 100 people were reported missing by the Libyan Coast Guard, while 41 migrants survived. What is more, 103 persons died in a similar incident, also caused by smugglers taking migrants to sea on board unsafe vessels.
So far this year, the death toll has passed 1,000, IOM informed.
“There is an alarming increase in deaths at sea off Libya Coast. Smugglers are exploiting the desperation of migrants to leave before there are further crackdowns on Mediterranean crossings by Europe,” Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission, said.
World Maritime News Staff