Sea rescue in the Mediterranean: 400 people are allowed on land

The German rescue ship Humanity 1 has rescued hundreds of people in distress. After a long search for a safe haven, Italy has made a commitment.

Dark outline of a boat with people on board at sea

Before they were rescued by the German lifeboat Humanity 1: Overcrowded boat on the Mediterranean Photo: Arez Ghaderi/SOS Humanity/dpa

TARENT dpa | The German sea rescue ship Humanity 1, with almost 400 people on board, has been given permission to dock in southern Italy. As the Berlin organization SOS Humanity announced on Tuesday, the port of Taranto (Taranto) in the Apulia region was assigned to it.

This provided "joyful relief" for the 398 people rescued in the Mediterranean, because some had already spent around two weeks on the ship. At the same time, however, the NGO criticized the fact that the assigned port was a 42-hour drive away. Humanity 1 cruised off the south coast of Sicily before heading to Puglia.

"The situation is precarious, water and food supplies have been heavily rationed, the weather is expected to get worse again," the German organization tweeted. While Humanity 1 was heading for a port, the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms Uno was waiting for permission from Italy. According to the crew, there are 402 migrants on board, as well as a body that was discovered among survivors during a rescue operation on a wooden boat.

Civilian rescue ships often have to wait for days before Italy assigns them a port. They accuse Rome of harassment and delays. For the authorities, on the other hand, it is reportedly often difficult to organize a port - they have to reception of migrants and refugees including registration and medical tests. According to the rescuers, the EU country responds Malta has not responded to inquiries for a long time.

Many people repeatedly dare the dangerous crossing across the central Mediterranean Sea from North Africa because they hope for a better life in the EU. According to the United Nations, 1,039 people lost their lives or are missing this year alone. Rome registered more than 68,200 migrants arriving on Italy's coasts in 2022 - compared to a good 43,200 in the same period last year.

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