The humanitarian ship Ocean-Viking, which has 294 survivors on board, has been authorized by the Italian authorities to dock in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, the non-governmental organization SOS Méditerranée announced on Sunday evening May 29.

“After an exhausting wait, Pozzallo, Sicily was finally assigned to safely disembark the 294 survivors aboard the

Since May 19, the ambulance ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has carried out four rescue operations which have enabled it to rescue 296 migrants off the coast. of Libya and Malta. Among them are 49 minors, including a 3-month-old baby, and six pregnant women, SOS Méditerranée said in a statement. An 8-month-pregnant woman and her husband had to be evacuated on Sunday.

More than 1,500 deaths in 2021

In a video shot from the ship, a medical official said that among the survivors, some showed signs of violence suffered during their stay in Libya, others had been injured during the crossing or suffered from chronic pathologies, so many conditions requiring medical treatment on land.

Libya is an important crossing point for tens of thousands of migrants seeking each year to reach Europe by the Italian coasts, some 300 kilometers away.

Considered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the most dangerous migratory route in the world, the central Mediterranean has seen the death or disappearance of at least 1,553 people in 2021. Since February 2016, 35,630 women, men and children have were rescued by SOS Méditerranée with the ships Aquarius then Ocean-Viking.

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