116 MIGRANTS SAVED BY OCEAN VIKING NOW IN SICILY
More than 100 migrants rescued by the rescue ship Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea over the past week disembarked in the Sicilian port of Augusta on Tuesday, the aid organization SOS Mediterranee said, Johannes Neudecker and Petra Kaminsky reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
The Ocean Viking had earlier been granted permission by Italian authorities to bring the migrants to the Italian island, the organization said. SOS Mediterranee said that all 116 migrants on board, including 51 unaccompanied minors, disembarked at the port and were tested for coronavirus, with six people returning positive results.
Many people set off from conflict-torn Libya in small boats to reach Europe, though the crossing is often dangerous. Civil aid organizations routinely rescue distressed migrants at sea, though the operations are controversial in some countries.
The private vessels often take the rescued migrants to Italy, sometimes to Malta. Libya's coastguard often brings migrants back to its own shores. According to the United Nations, more than 230 migrants have lost their lives at sea while attempting to cross the central Mediterranean so far this year.
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