More than a thousand migrants rescued in recent days in the Mediterranean are still waiting for safe harbor on the rescue ships ‘Geo Barents’ and ‘Ocean Viking’ operated respectively by Médecins Sans Frontières and SOS Méditerranée.
On the first MSF ship are 659 survivors, including more than 150 minors, the last of whom were picked up on Thursday.
The organization regrets that “multiple requests for disembarkation to safety have gone unanswered but the team remains optimistic,” MSF says on its Twitter account.
The ‘Ocean Viking’ is right now accommodating another 387 migrants rescued in five operations between Sunday and Monday and has likewise seen its requests for safe harbor rejected.
Since January, 875 migrants have perished in the waters of the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Since 2014, the year of the first census, 20,000 are reported dead or missing.