Watch: Vessel on which migrants are detained sails along Sliema coast

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

One of the four private vessels chartered by the government to detain asylum seekers offshore has approached shore earlier on Saturday, however, until the time of writing no official explanation was given. The vessel had initially been seen off Delimara, however, later on Saturday it could be seen sailing along the Sliema coast.

Captain Morgan’s Europa II which was chartered by the government when it adopted a policy of detaining migrants offshore amid the coronavirus pandemic was just off Delimara earlier on Saturday morning.

Early on Saturday morning a source told Newsbook.com.mt that Europa II had sent out a distress call. This newsroom tried to confirm the news, however no reply was given. The distress call claimed that asylum seekers who have been held out at sea for over five weeks had become aggressive.

Throughout the day as the situation continued to develop, the government did not issue any statements on why the Europa II was off the coast of Malta. Meanwhile, the national broadcaster reported that ten crew members and twenty security officers had to retreat to the cabin after the situation got out of hand.

TVM reported that the Armed Forces of Malta had advised the private vessel to sail towards Area 4 which is around 2 nautical miles off the coast of Malta. The vessel is being monitored by an AFM naval and air asset.

On board the Europa II is a group of 160 individuals that were rescued in April and May, in two separate operations.

Video – Nicole Borg