44 migrants that were rescued by the Open Arms rescue vessel, have been disembarked in Malta
This was confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt by a spokeswoman for the Armed Forces of Malta. The Spanish migrant rescue NGO Open Arms, said that the migrants had been rescued from the sea, 30 miles off the coast of Lampedusa. The migrants were later transferred to an AFM patrol boat for disembarkation in Malta.
Earlier, the Armed Forces of Malta confirmed that it would not be taking any kind of action towards the migrants currently aboard the MSF and SOS Mediteranee vessel, Ocean Viking. AFM said they would be monitoring the situation.
Am AFM spokesperson told Newsbook.com.mt that they would not be engaging with the situation at sea, yet.
This news follows a standoff between the Libyan coastguard and Sea Eye’s Alan Kurdi vessel, during their rescue. The coastguard had positioned itself between the migrant boat and the NGO during the rescue operation.
According to the NGO, the coastguard had threatened the captain on the radio and pointed their weapons at the crew and migrants. The crew was moved to the back of the vessel to minimise danger. The coastguard also fired into the air and the water, the NGO recounts.
Yesterday, the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms saved a group of 45 people. The NGO said the migrants were rescued 30 miles off the coast of Lampedusa.
The emergency hotline NGO ‘AlarmPhone’, has said that the Maltese and Italian authorities have been passive in their response to the rescues, deciding only to grant aid and to monitor the boats that are in distress.
One migrant on board the Alan Kurdi was a pregnant woman that due to the medical complications and stress of the situation, had to be medically evacuated from the vessel and taken to Italy for treatment. This was confirmed by AFM.
‘Malta abandoned its responsibility’
Malta’s Search and Rescue Association has been accused of abandoning its responsibility to medically evacuate the pregnant woman from the Alan Kurdi.
According to a statement from the German rescue NGO, Malta had said on Sunday that it would evacuate the pregnant woman on board, using a helicopter. This helicopter soared after those on board. One of those persons was a four-month pregnant woman who was losing a lot of blood, and therefore would need to be rescued.