Doctors Without Borders sea rescue brings 367 migrants ashore

After days of waiting, 367 migrants have been brought onto shore in Sicily by aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

After days of waiting, 367 migrants have been brought onto shore in Sicily by aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

The Geo Barents sea rescue ship docked at Palermo harbour late Wednesday.

The migrants on board, which aid workers said included 172 children, were tested for coronavirus and then distributed into processing and quarantine camps.

Palermo’s Mayor Leoluca Orlanda was at the harbour for the arrival of the vessel, news agency ANSA reported.

Over several weeks of deployments, the Geo Barents had brought migrants on inflatable and wooden boats on board.

The ship had been waiting since last weekend for approval to head for a port.

Fears were growing as weather authorities forecast storms in the region south-east of Sicily and south of Calabria.

On Wednesday, the ship got the green light from Italian authorities.

“There are no words to express the joy and relief on board,” MSF tweeted.

Many migrants head towards the northern coast of Africa and board boats to reach the European Union.

Often they reach Italy or are collected by sea rescue organizations. If the Libyan coastguard intercepts them, they are sent back.

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