52 asylum seekers remain off Delimara on board cargo vessel

Alarm Phone

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

52 asylum seekers that were rescued by a cargo vessel are currently waiting off the coast of Delimara. The cargo ship usually used to transport livestock was allowed to dock off the coast of Delimara during the night as it sheltered from the rough seas.

A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of Malta confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt that two individuals had to be evacuated from the vessel due to medical reasons.

A government spokesperson told this newsroom that Talia is awaiting further instructions in Maltese territorial waters.

The group of 52 asylum seekers found themselves in distress in the Maltese search and rescue region. On Saturday, migrant NGO Alarm Phone said that the group had left the war torn country, three days before and were at sea without any food or water. The NGO said that the Maltese authorities refused to divulge any information about the case.

The people at sea were eventually rescued by the cargo ship. Talia was told that the Armed Forces of Malta would transfer the asylum seekers to one of its vessels and disembark them in Malta, however, this did not happen, Alarm Phone reported.

The livestock carrier changed its route to Lampedusa but was denied entry by the Italian authorities. It was then instructed to sail towards Malta.

Talia is currently to the south of Malta sheltering from the rough seas after a special concession was granted by the local authorities.

Alarm Phone reiterated that the people who have been rescued need to be disembarked without further delay, noting that some people were in critical condition.

The NGO maintained that the livestock carrier had acted in accordance to international maritime law by rescuing the people who were in distress. Malta is not upholding its international obligations since it is refusing to disembark the asylum seekers, Alarm Phone said.

Alarm Phone accused the Maltese authorities of endangering the crew’s life by refusing to disembark the migrants. The NGO called on the authorities to allow the immediate disembarkation.