Serhat TUNAR -TDO- The rescue ship was stranded in the middle of the sea when Italy denied port clearance to the Open Arms ship, which rescued refugees who risked their lives to reach Europe, in the Mediterranean.
Last Wednesday evening, 73 refugees seeking to reach the north in inflatable boats 50 miles off Libya were rescued by the Open Arms ship.
Italian authorities did not approve of the ship anchoring in Port, although they did allow the ship to enter territorial waters to survive the bad weather. Open Arms mission Chief Ricardo Gatti said the association's call had been returned from Italy and Malta, while Italian authorities wanted the ship to return to Tripoli, Libya.
According to international conventions, governments have to ensure that those on board are evacuated to a safe port, Gatti said in a statement. Gatti said they would continue their call to reach a safe harbor, noting that there were patients on board who should have arrived ashore at a moment's notice due to health problems. Ricadro Gatti also recalled that weather conditions were getting progressively worse. Italian officials have yet to comment on the matter.
Those waiting to land include two babies and teenagers and children under the age of 18 with no parents.