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German rescue boat heads for Italy carrying 800 migrants


BERLIN: A charity ship has rescued 800 migrants in the Mediterranean and is heading for the Italian port of Lampedusa, the German NGO Sea-Eye said on Thursday. The Sea-Eye 4 had already rescued 397 people in six operations by Wednesday, assisted by the Mission Lifeline ship Rise Above, Sea-Eye said in a statement.

The vessel then picked up a further 400 people from a heavily overcrowded wooden boat on Thursday morning, it said. Maltese rescue services, though responsible for maritime emergencies in the area, “did not respond to any of the calls for assistance”, Sea-Eye said. “There are now more than 800 people on the Sea-Eye 4, which has since set course for Lampedusa,” it said. The migrants and 24 crew on board are facing an “unprecedented, highly stressful situation” and are “dependent on the rapid assignment of a port of safety”, it added.

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