Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu-Parra
Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu-Parra

The Spanish rescue group Open Arms has rescued around 170 people from the Mediterranean Sea. Several small children were in the boat drifting off the coast of Libya.

The Spanish vessel Open Arms has rescued 169 people in waters north of Libya, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The migrants, including six children, were picked up from an overflowing wooden boat on Thursday in international waters, she said. All were brought to safety on the Open Arms' tugboat.

A baby was among those rescued by aid workers of the Spanish NGO Open Arms on Thursday, 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu
A baby was among those rescued by aid workers of the Spanish NGO Open Arms on Thursday, 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu

Aid workers said most of the migrants on the overcrowded boat were from Eritrea, according to Associated Press reports.

Open Arms Mediterranean rescue on 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu
Open Arms Mediterranean rescue on 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu

The rescue happened on New Year's Eve, according to the Open Arms spokesperson. "There is no such thing as Christmas or New Year when you are fleeing violence," the group tweeted.

Open Arms is one of a number of rescue groups operating in the Mediterranean. The private vessel left Spain shortly before Christmas on a new mission to the central Mediterranean.

Nearly 170 people, reportedly mostly from Eritrea, were on the overcrowded boat discovered on 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu
Nearly 170 people, reportedly mostly from Eritrea, were on the overcrowded boat discovered on 31 December 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/Joan Matteu

With dpa

 

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