Rescue vessel with 100 migrants refused entry by Malta

Representational Image. Source: Twitter (@seacoverage)

The Maltese authorities rejected the request of an NGO to disembark 100 rescued migrants. The island country is reportedly not in a position to take in more migrants as it has already allowed more than 500 people enter its territory since Friday, according to a report in Malta Today.

As per a government spokesperson, it was not the competent authority to deal with the case as the rescue had taken place within the Libyan search region.

The NGO, on the other hand, claimed that it had made two requests to enter Malta but both were rejected by the authorities.

The request was made by German NGO Lifeline and the rescue vessel was being captained by one Claus-Peter Reisch. The NGO stated that the rescue vessel, Eleonore, had reached the migrants when the rubber boat they were travelling in was fast deflating.

“Yesterday, the vessel Eleonore saved around 100 people in the Mediterranean Sea. The rubber boat was already deflating when the RHIB-crew arrived. The so-called Libyan Coastguard tried to intervene in the rescue. Eleonore is now heading north,” it said in a Tweet.

Captain Reisch was fined by a Maltese court earlier this year for a similar incident involving disembarkment of migrants.

Meanwhile, as per reports, the rescued migrants were all male and included 30 minors. 15 of the minors were unaccompanied.