Two migrant boats carrying a total of 50 people were intercepted by finance police and accompanied to Lampedusa on Saturday, taking to 430 the total number of arrivals since midnight in 10 distinct landings.
One boat carried 25 Egyptians, who said they had departed from Sabratha in Libya and paid 100,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately 3,000 euros) for the crossing.
The other carried 25 Tunisians, including one woman and two minors, who said they had set sail from Kerkennah in Tunisia.
Also on Saturday, operations were completed in the Ligurian port of La Spezia to disembark 336 migrants and refugees including 52 women and 80 minors – of whom 42 unaccompanied – rescued by the civil rescue ship Geo Barents in two separate operations last Sunday and Tuesday in the Central Mediterranean. They will now be transferred to reception facilities in Liguria and other parts of Italy.
“After this difficult experience, all the survivors now just need to receive the proper care and protection,” said the charity Doctors without Borders (Msf), which operates the Geo Barents, in a Tweet.
“We wish them the best for the rest of their journey. In accordance with international law, it is critical that all survivors disembark in a safe place as quickly as possible,” continued MSF.
“The government responsible (for disembarkation) must make every effort to reduce the length of time survivors stay on the vessel assisting them, in line with the Guidelines on the Treatment of Persons Rescued at Sea. The decision to assign a distant port does not take the welfare of the newly rescued survivors into account,” it concluded.
After the rescues on Tuesday the Geo Barents was instructed to disembark in La Spezia, three days’ sailing from the search and rescue zone.