Eight migrants evacuated from rescue ship to Malta

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A total of eight migrants have been evacuated on Monday afternoon by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) from Spanish-flagged migrant rescue ship Open Arms to Malta, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

In a statement, the AFM said it was coordinating the medical evacuation of eight migrants from on board the Open Arms. The migrants were transferred to patrol boat P21 and brought to the military base in Haywharf, Floriana.

A spokesperson for Open Arms told Xinhua that the medical evacuation of three individuals was requested by the Maltese authorities. A man was subsequently evacuated to Italy while two women and their families were evacuated to Malta for medical reasons.

On July 30 the civil search and rescue vessel carried out two rescue operation, saving a total of 124 asylum seekers. Two heavily pregnant women had been medically evacuated on Aug. 3 to Italy. A third person was also evacuated to Italy.

On Aug. 9, the vessel carried out another rescue operation when 39 individuals on board a vessel found themselves in distress in the Maltese search and rescue region. The rescue was coordinated by the Maltese Armed Forces.

The Spanish organisation Proactiva Open Arms had subsequently rejected Malta’s offer to take in the 39 migrants rescued, arguing that all migrants should be disembarked.

Both Malta and Italy have consistently refused to grant Open Arms a port of safety.