PortandTerminal.com, July 7, 2020
52 people rescued from the Mediterranean on Saturday remain stranded on a livestock carrier, MV Talia. Both Italy and Malta have denied them permission to disembark.
LAMPEDUSA, ITALY – A Lebanese a livestock carrier, the MV Talia, carrying 52 migrants it rescued in the Mediterranean has been denied access to Italy and Malta, forcing its captain to accommodate the stranded people in the vessel’s dirty cattle cages.
The MV Talia rescued the migrants on Saturday from their sinking dinghy on instructions of the Malta Rescue Centre.
It was allowed into Malta’s territorial waters on Sunday to shelter from rough seas but is being denied permission to disembark them pending an agreement with other EU states on their redistribution.
Captain of the Talia, Mohammad Shaaban, has said that the situation aboard the Lebanese livestock cargo ship is becoming ‘unsustainable’.
“The situation is bad, I am running out of food and water,” Shaaban said in an interview with Malta Today on Tuesday.
The captain said that migrants had come to speak to the crew asking for blankets, pillows and beds, but that there were no additional materials on the ship, and that for now, he was unable to transfer them from the stables.
“This is a place for animals, not for humans. Malta or Italy must take these people; I do not have the money, the company cannot bear the losses… The migrants are now staying on the sixth floor which is a problem because our ship has not yet been cleaned, so there is residue from the previous voyage,” he said.
On Tuesday Shaaban wrote a letter to the Rescue Coordination Center of Malta (RCC MALTA) detailing the situation of the migrants aboard the vessel. He confirmed that as of tomorrow the ship would not be able to provide food and water, “the immigrants will remain without food until they are disembarked from the ship,” he said.
Most of MV Talia’s passengers are from Somalia and Djibouti, and many need urgent medical care after surviving war in Libya and enduring five days at sea, according to Shaaban.
On Sunday, Malta’s armed forces allowed the medical evacuation of two people from the Talia, but refused to take others.
Malta has so far made no official comment about the ship or its rescued passengers.
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