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Italy allows rescued migrants' vessel to dock in Sicily, NGO says

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Flavio Gasperini/Flavio Gasperini

African migrants

Italy has allowed the Ocean Viking, the SOS Méditerranée sea rescue vessel, to dock in Sicily Friday, paving the way for the disembarkation of 572 rescued migrants.

The NGO announced that the Ocean Viking received the greenlight from Italian maritime authorities Thursday evening.

"It is a huge relief to know that their ordeal at sea is almost over and that the six rescues will finally be completed soon," it added.

On Wednesday, SOS Mediterranee appealed to the European Union to find a safe port and disembark the migrants, who were rescued on board the Ocean Viking.

The NGO raised the alarm as it said the humanitarian situation of the rescued migrants were worsening by the hour.

SOS Meditérranée stated that on Wednesday a migrant jumped overboard.

He was later rescued by a zodiac rescue boat and brought back on board.

According to the Italian Ministry of Interior, as of 7 July, 22,375 migrants have reached Italy by sea. That’s a significant jump compared to when 7,554 people arrived in 2020.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR estimates that 37,853 people have arrived in Europe by sea in 2020, with 883 accounted as dead or missing.