Shortly after their rescues in the central Mediterranean, two German aid organizations were assigned ports for their boat migrants by Italy. According to the Dresden association Mission Lifeline, the "Rise Above" should moor in Gioia Tauro in southern Italy.
The Regensburg NGO Sea-Eye was assigned the port in the Tuscan city of Livorno, as spokesman Gorden Isler confirmed when asked. The right-wing government of the Mediterranean country did not allow the ships to remain at sea longer than in the past.
Italian authorities reported with port assignment
Mission Lifeline spoke on Twitter of a "surprisingly" quick assignment. The crew rescued 27 Syrian migrants from distress at sea on Saturday. According to spokesman Isler, the "Sea-Eye 4" was still involved in a search at sea, but then wanted to set a course for Livorno. On Friday evening, the volunteers picked up 63 migrants from an unseaworthy inflatable boat.
According to Isler, the Italian authorities reported this time with the port assignment. In the past, organizations have often reported that Italy has long left requests for a port unanswered. However, Livorno is very far away from the current position of the ship, which was between Malta and Libya this morning. "The journey will take about 5 days," estimates Isler. On Sunday, another organization also reported a migrant rescue: The Italian NGO Emergency brought 70 migrants to its ship "Life Support" on its first mission on Sunday night. They were in distress off the coast of Libya with their wooden boat, Emergency tweeted.
Around 98,700 boat migrants have arrived in Italy so far in 2022
Italy's government appears to be changing its strategy in dealing with civilian sea rescuers. Rome is very critical of the efforts of the donation-financed organizations. These regularly go to the Mediterranean to rescue migrants who get into distress at sea on their way from the coasts of North Africa to the EU. Italy absorbs most of them. According to the Interior Ministry, around 98,700 boat migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year. In the same period of the previous year, there were significantly fewer at around 63,400.
The newspaper "La Repubblica" reported on Sunday about an order that Rome wants to put in place after Christmas. According to this, the crews should bring the rescued people ashore after the first rescue – as is now the case with the “Rise Above” and the “Sea-Eye 4”. Organizations that did not comply, Rome no longer wanted to accept. Should they later penetrate into Italian waters, they would have to reckon with penalties. The government apparently wants to prevent ships from operating longer at sea and rescuing more boat migrants in several missions.