A charity boat carrying 41 rescued migrants has docked in an Italian port despite a ban on it doing so. The captain of the Alex decided to leave international waters for Lampedusa’s port because of the “intolerable hygienic conditions”.
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister, had vowed to block them. Last year, he closed Italian ports to rescue ships and Italy has introduced fines for anyone sailing into its waters without permission. The migrants on board the Alex have not yet disembarked in Lampedusa.
Meanwhile, another NGO ship, the Alan Kurdi – operated by German charity Sea-Eye – is afloat in international waters just outside Lampedusa, carrying another 65 people.
It comes a week after a different ship, the Sea-Watch 3, forced a landing on Lampedusa after being stranded at sea for two weeks with 53 people aboard.
Its captain, Carola Rackete, was arrested and accused of endangering the lives of police and trying to sink their boat.