Lifeline docks in Malta, migrants finally safe

Ian Noel Pace

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

After six days at sea, the rescue ship Lifeline finally docked in Boilers Wharf in Isla on Wednesday evening. The ship received permission to dock in Isla only after eight EU Member States agreed to take some of the migrants on board the ship. The ship docked at around 7:30pm.

Ian Noel Pace

The operation was coordinated by the Malta Police Force, the Armed Forces of Malta, the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers, the Civil Protection Department, Transport Malta and the Health authorities.

Once the migrants were taken away in police vans to the Initial Reception Center, the captain was taken in for questioning at the Police Headquarters in Floriana. The captain will return to the ship once the questioning is over.

In total there are some 17 crew members including an Italian photographer.

According to reports in International Media, Germany has pulled out from participating in taking a share of the migrants that arrived on board Lifeline. The eight countries to take in a share of the migrants that were on board MV Lifeline are Malta, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland. However the numbers for each EU Member State are not known yet.

Lifeline’s spokesperson, Axel Steier, in comments he made to the media said that the ship has all the necessary documents to show that it is registered properly. Steier also said that the 17 women and five children were on the ship.

Ian Noel Pace

A total of three adults and three babies accompanied by their parents were taken to health centers for checkups.

In a press conference earlier on, Prime Minister said that the MV LIFELINE would dock on Wednesday evening and the passengers brought ashore.

Both Malta and Italy have claimed that the captain violated international law. After six days at sea, the entry refusal was finally lifted off and the ship was allowed to dock.

Aditus were present for the operation and are giving pro bono legal help to the captain and the crew members.