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"Ocean Viking" brings 373 migrants to Sicily

PALERMO. The Italian authorities have assigned the rescue ship Ocean Viking of the refugee organization “SOS Méditerranée” a port in Sicily for the 373 migrants on board. "We feared another long wait at sea without allocation of a safe place, as we unfortunately often had to experience in the past," said a spokeswoman for the organization.

The weather in the Mediterranean has recently deteriorated rapidly. “The numerous babies and small children on board suffer particularly from seasickness. That's one of the reasons why we were worried about a long wait at sea."

At the same time she warned that a European solution for accepting migrants in the EU must be found. "Civil society" is currently trying to take on this task.

"Ocean Viking" has been in use since mid-January
According to their own information, the Ocean Viking rescued the people on Thursday and Friday in three missions from distress. Among the migrants are 165 minors, 80 percent of whom are traveling alone. These include 21 newborns and toddlers. In addition, four pregnant women are among the migrants.

The ship was put back to sea from Marseille in mid-January. Previously, Italian authorities had temporarily shut it down due to violations of security requirements. The Ocean Viking is one of the largest rescue ships of the refugee organizations.

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