Rescue boat with hundreds of migrants on board asks EU to find a port for it

ROME, July 6 (Reuters) – A charity asked the European Union on Tuesday to find it a port where it could land to disembark the hundreds of migrants it has rescued in the central Mediterranean in recent days.

Some 572 people, including 183 minors, are currently on board the ship Ocean Viking, the organization SOS Méditerranée said after recovering them during six operations in the Maltese and Libyan search and rescue areas.

The group said maritime authorities had failed to assist in the operations and urged the European Union to intervene.

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Migrants rest aboard the Ocean Viking after being rescued during a search and rescue (SAR) operation in the Mediterranean Sea, July 5, 2021. Picture taken July 5, 2021. Flavio Gasperini/SOS Mediterranee/ Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALE. NO ARCHIVES. COMPULSORY CREDIT

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“We call on the EU to at least coordinate the disembarkation of the 572 survivors currently on board our ship,” he said in a statement.

The statement did not give details of the ship’s whereabouts, but the website gave its position between Malta and Sicily.

Migrant boat departures from North Africa to Europe resumed in 2021 after a decline in previous years.

Dozens of migrants have died in recent days following shipwrecks as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy, one of the main access routes to Europe. Read more

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Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones and Alison Williams

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