The humanitarian ship Ocean Viking rescued on Saturday 37 migrants who were shipwrecked in the Mediterranean near the coast of Libya, said the NGO SOS Méditerranée, owner of the vessel that will be able to dock in the Italian port of Ancona.
The migrants were aboard “a small overloaded inflatable boat in international waters near Libya,” the NGO said in a statement.
SOS Méditerranée told the AFP agency that the humanitarian vessel is heading to Ancona, in northeastern Italy, after the Italian authorities awarded it that port to disembark.
“The port is located 1,575 kilometers from the area of operation, that is, four days of navigation,” said the NGO.
“The weather forecasts will worsen from Sunday night” and that could expose migrants to “strong winds and rough seas,” the NGO explained. Of the 37 people rescued, two are women and 12 are minors without the company of any relatives.
The #OceanViking rescued 37 people from an overcrowded small rubber boat in intl. waters off Libya. The unseaworthy boat with people on the sponsons was spotted via binoculars at dawn. @SOSMedIntl & @ifrc are taking care of survivors suffering from fuel intoxication & fuel burns. pic.twitter.com/lQcDl5gGaz
— SOS MEDITERRANEE (@SOSMedIntl) January 7, 2023