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Italy: Ocean Viking rescue ship with over 250 migrants on board dock in Naples

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The Ocean Viking, a ship from the non-governmental organisation SOS Mediterranee, docked in Napoli on Monday with hundreds of migrants and refugees on board rescued from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea over the last week.

Since Sunday, the ship had been trying to get authorisation to dock in Genoa, but according to local media reports, the forecast of storms meant that its destination was diverted to the port of Naples.

In the footage, relieved migrants wait inside the ship, while work crews make the final preparations for the start of disembarkation. On the outside, activists from the organization founded in Germany in 2015 held up banners welcoming the rescued.

After an initial screening and medical examination, they will be sent to different Italian cities for legal immigration procedures.

« The numbers are 254, of which 37 are unaccompanied minors, on whom we have obviously already determined the reception arrangements yesterday, they will be mostly brought earlier as you have seen both the Usma and the ASL, they are already on the ship to verify the health situations, There are, let’s say, even some pregnant women, but the infrastructure, as you have seen, despite the very limited space of time, has already been set up yesterday evening and therefore the reception will continue. Keep in mind that not all 254 will remain in Naples, because we have also heard from the other prefectures in the region, they will be distributed according to the criteria that were already more or less determined in other provinces. This is obviously after the health screening that will be carried out here », declared the mayor of Naples, Claudio Palomba, visiting the site during the operation of disembarkation.

According to the SOS Mediterranee, the rescue took place in waters off the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. It declared over 400 people from 23 different nationalities were saved since Thursday.

The UN agency for migration informs that only this year over 2,000 people have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean, a new record in comparison to the 1,417 deaths registered during the whole of 2022.

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