The saga of the Pinar, a Turkish vessel who has rescued around 140 illegal immigrants is nearing solution as Italy has accepted the immigrants, Ansa.it reported. According to the Italian news source the vessel will shortly be authorised to direct towards a Sicilian port, most probably in Porto Empedocle in Agrigento. Consultation between the concerned ministries is currently underway. In the meantime, an Italian coastal guard dinghy will be taking a pregnant woman and other sick persons on board to hospital.
The Italian and Maltese authorities have been at loggerheads on who should take responsibility of the group of immigrants since last Friday when the Turkish owned vessel was been refused entry in Lampedusa with the migrants on board. Malta also refused the landing. The merchant vessel was bound by international obligations to render assistance, and convey the rescued persons to the nearest safe haven, which according to Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) in this case was Lampedusa.
The migrants were rescued whilst in distress in a position 41 nautical miles (NM) from Lampedusa and 114 NM from Malta. Very early in the day, at 05:10CET MRCC Rome informed the AFM’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC Malta) at Luqa Barracks that a number of illegal immigrants were adrift on a small boat 45 nautical miles (NM) off Lampedusa, and around 112 from Malta. RCC Malta immediately acted on this information, and directed the Panamanian flagged MV ‘Pinar E’ to provide assistance to the persons reported in distress. The Turkish owned vessel was en route to Sfax in Tunisia.
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