İrem UZUN -TDO- The Italian coastguard has stepped in to offer partial relief for the Louise Michel, a charity migrant rescue ship sponsored by UK street artist Banksy. A fishing boat carrying nearly 370 migrants landed overnight on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the country's news agencies reported on Sunday, as a nearby humanitarian ship carrying another 350 people sought a port of disembarkation.
The coast guard said a patrol boat dispatched from the southern Italian island of Lampedusa had taken on board 49 of "those considered most vulnerable" among the 219 migrants picked up by the ship since Thursday off the coast of Libya. Named after a 19th-century French feminist anarchist, the MV Louise Michel started operating last week. Despite the help from Italy, it has still not found a safe port for the rest of the mainly African migrants on board.
The remaining migrants on board, around 150 people, were received by a vessel chartered by German NGO Sea Watch and medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), according to tweets from both organisations and the Louise Michel's crew. "For those most recently embarked, medical assessment is ongoing, with the clinic full of MSF medics treating people for fuel burns, dehydration, hypothermia & traumatic injuries," the MSF Sea Twitter account said of the situation on board the Sea-Watch 4. The rescued migrants later said three people had died at sea before the arrival of the Louise Michel.