Sea-Watch 3 allowed to anchor off Syracuse for shelter

The vessel is carrying 47 migrants rescued in Libyan waters on Saturday  

47 rescued migrants have been on board the Sea-Watch 3 since  Saturday
47 rescued migrants have been on board the Sea-Watch 3 since Saturday

Italian authorities have allowed the NGO rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 to anchor of Syracuse in Sicily as sea conditions continue to worsen.

The NGO said yesterday that the vessel was in need of safe haven as it was facing a Mediterranean cyclone. “The Sea-Watch 3 seeks protection from waves up to 7 metres high, rain and icy wind,” it said.

A Maltese government representative was quoted saying that, given the weather conditions, Italy should offer the ship shelter. "In view of (Mr) Salvini’s tweet, and given that the weather conditions are worsening he should offer shelter," he said.

Salvini, on his part, has insisted that no ships will be allowed to dock in Italian ports.

Malta is reported to have denied the vessel entry after it had already been denied entry into Lampedusa by Italian authorities. The rescue ship saved the 47 persons on board on Saturday, but it said that over 100 others had drowned.

A spokesperson for the NGO said on Monday that the vessel had made contact with both Maltese and Italian authorities, with both insisting that it should contact Libyan authorities for coordination. The spokesperson addded however that efforts to contact the Libyan coastguard had proved unsuccessful.

READ ALSO: Europe hatches plan for migrant reception centres outside the bloc

More in National