Sea Watch 3 charity vessel rescues migrants at sea 24 December

Charity Vessel With 440 Migrants to Dock in Italy

By Region News The Islands

CATANIA, Italy (Reuters) – The German charity vessel Sea Watch 3, carrying hundreds of migrants rescued at sea, will dock in the Italian port of Pozzallo, in Sicily. The charity group operating the ship made the announcement on Twitter on today.

The charity vessel has been seeking a port to disembark for the past week, since rescuing the migrants from the Mediterranean.

“The 440 people on board will finally be able to disembark,” Sea Watch said.

Those onboard, mostly from Africa, were rescued late last week in five separate operations. They include around 200 minors, most of them unaccompanied, a Sea Watch spokesperson said.

On Tuesday, Italy allowed more than 550 people onboard another charity boat to disembark in the Sicilian port of Augusta.

Former Sea Watch 3 captain cleared

This follows the court’s decision one week ago to clear the former captain of Sea Watch 3, Carola Rackete, of aiding illegal migration.

Carole Rackete cleared of charges

Rackete had docked in Italy despite military orders not to do so. This was in on 29th June 2019. The ship had been at sea for weeks and refused permission to dock in Italy. With supplies running low, Rackete made the decision to enter Italian waters and dock at Lampedusa.

Lampedusa sees record number of migrants in 2021

This year also saw a record number of migrants arrive at Lampedusa. The Sicilian island is a frequent destination for migrant boats due to its proximity to the African coast.

The prefect of Sicilian city Agrigento, said this week that 35,000 migrants had landed on Lampedusa in 2021. This is over half the number again that arrived in 2020 (c.20,000).

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