Sea-Eye's "Alan Kurdi" search and rescue vessel | Photo: Sea Eye/Fabian Heinz
Sea-Eye's "Alan Kurdi" search and rescue vessel | Photo: Sea Eye/Fabian Heinz

The German search-and-rescue vessel Alan Kurdi has completed its current mission after Malta allowed the disembarkation of the remaining five migrants aboard the charity boat.

The Alan Kurdi, which is run by the German "Sea-Eye" charity, had rescued 13 people from a wooden boat at sea on August 31. However, Maltese authorities only allowed eight of the migrants on board to be evacuated, leaving five stranded at sea aboard the vessel for ten days.

Following a deal brokered by the European Commission, the five remaining migrants will now be transferred to two other EU states after arriving in Malta. The migrants in question were reportedly expected to arrive ashore after first being transferred onto a Maltese navy vessel.

The Maltese government meanwhile said in a statement that Malta "agreed to be part of a European solution to solve the impasse by offering disembarkation," without naming the two EU countries which had agreed to accept the migrants.

Suicide attempts among migrants

The impasse between "Sea-Eye" and the Maltese government was only resolved after Sea-Eye agreed to drop a legal case against the Maltese government which was due to be held in a Maltese court.

The charity had bitterly criticized Malta and Italy for refusing to take in migrants. Some of the people who were evacuated from the ship earlier were only taken in after attempting suicide, according to the German NGO.

Next crisis brewing?

Meanwhile, another charity rescue ship remains at sea, meaning that another confrontation with Malta or Italy could be just around the corner.

The "Ocean Viking," which is run jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said their vessel took in 34 migrants from a stranded sailing boat after taking in another 50 migrants earlier.

There are now 84 migrants in total on board the ship, including 12 minors, two pregnant women and a 1-year-old child. According to reports, the migrants onboard the "Ocean Viking" include nationals from Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal.


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