The Civil Fleet

116 rescued refugees finally given permission to come ashore


Authorities ignored their rescuers’ calls for days

A REFUGEE rescue ship’s calls to be assigned a port to disembark more than 100 people have finally been answered after days of being ignored.

European charity SOS Mediterranee announced on social media today that the Italian authorities had granted permission for its ship, the Ocean Viking, to bring the rescued to shore.

Above a picture posted on Twitter of the ship’s elated passengers, SOS Mediterranee wrote: “Relief on board [the] Ocean Viking after several days of rough weather.

“The ship was assigned the port of Augusta, Sicily, by Italian authorities for the disembarkation of 116 survivors.”

SOS Mediterranee said that the refugees had begun going ashore this afternoon.

The Ocean Viking found 10 people adrift off the coast of Libya last Tuesday and picked up another 106 from an overcrowded rubber boat on Saturday.

The crew made four requests for European port authorities to provide the rescued with a place of safety before receiving an answer.