Watch: 79 Migrants disembark in Sicily

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The 79 migrants who were on the MV Marina disembarked in Porto Empedocle while the ship sailed on to Malta’s Freeport as per its original plan.

Dr Ann Fenech on Saturday morning on 103 Malta’s Heart recounted the saga of MV Marina. It was last Sunday early morning that Marina was ordered by RCC Malta to pick up a number of migrants who were on a boat in distress. She explained the contacts that were made with the Malta RCC and between Malta and Italy. 

Fenech added that for days there was a kind of stalemate between both countries, each asking the other to let the migrants disembark in one of their ports. Saturday afternoon the Italian authorities gave permission for the migrants to disembark in Porto Empedocle. 

Most of the migrants were from Bangladesh. The situation on the ship was getting worse as the days passed on. The migrants were frightened and very vulnerable as a result of their experience while food and water were getting scarce. It was difficult for the crew of 13 members of the crew to keep the situation under control. 

Fenech was representing the owners of the ship but as an expert in maritime law, she also explained the different aspects of international law governing such a situation.

She said that “this saga has only confirmed and highlighted the plight of commercial merchant shipping in such situations when they observe international law and save lives at Sea.”