Charity boat with 182 migrants waits to dock in Europe


ABOARD THE OCEAN VIKING (AP) – A humanitarian ship with 182 rescued migrants is sailing back and forth Sunday in international waters between Italy and Malta as it awaits permission from some European government to dock.

The Ocean Viking, a Norwegian-flagged ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, rescued four groups of migrants fleeing Libya on human traffickers’ unseaworthy boats last week.

On Friday it disembarked 35 people it had rescued under Maltese orders because their migrant boat was in a Mediterranean Sea region under Malta’s search-and-rescue responsibility.

But the remaining 182 people, including 13 children under age 15 and a newborn, have so far been rejected by Malta and Italy, which contend that charity boats help Libyan-based human traffickers. Italy is demanding that other European nations take many of those rescued.

Migrants are silhouetted during the sunrise on the deck of the Ocean Viking as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. The humanitarian ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders is still waiting to be assigned a place of safety to disembark 182 people rescued after fleeing Libya. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)