[WATCH] Forgotten migrants on oil tanker: ship captain appeals for standoff to be resolved as desperation kicks in

Maersk Etienne captain says water and food supplies are running low as 27 migrants remain stranded on his ship near Malta • Migrant threatens to throw himself off the side in desperation

Maersk Etienne tanker picked up the migrants on 5 August after being alerted by Sea-Watch
Maersk Etienne tanker picked up the migrants on 5 August after being alerted by Sea-Watch
Migrant onboard oil tanker threatens to jump overboard, as four-week standoff continues

A rescued migrant aboard the Danish-flagged vessel Maersk Etienne has threatened to throw himself off the side of the ship in desperation, according to the ship's captain.

The migrant forms part of a group of 27 who were rescued by the cargo ship four weeks' ago and remain stranded after Malta refused to allow their disembarkation.

Addressing the situation in a video blog, captain Volodymyr Yeroshkin said the rescued migrants have become frustrated with the current situation.

“They are anxious to disembark… they want to get in touch with their loved ones and family,” he said.

The Maersk Etienne tanker picked up the migrants on 5 August after being alerted by Sea-Watch of the people in distress.

Both Malta and Italy have hardened their positions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the increasing number of migrant departures from Libya.

Malta is refusing to allow the disembarkation of the group, which includes a pregnant woman and a minor, with government sources saying they are seeking a 'European' solution to the issue. 

In August the European Court of Human Rights turned down a request for migrants onboard the Etienne to be brought into Malta.

The ruling said that Malta’s decision did not place their lives at risk of inhumane treatment and therefore the safety of these people is not under threat. 

However, the captain said that water rations are running low as the ship’s reserves are almost depleted.

“They simply want to step ashore… none of our crew is trained to give medical assistance," he added.

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