Migrants aboard the Ocean Viking arriving in Pozzallo, Italy, on August 8, 2021 | Photo: Francesco Ruta/ANSA/picture-alliance
Migrants aboard the Ocean Viking arriving in Pozzallo, Italy, on August 8, 2021 | Photo: Francesco Ruta/ANSA/picture-alliance

The last remaining migrants and refugees left the Ocean Viking on Tuesday. The rescue ship had landed in Pozzallo, southern Italy, on Sunday with 549 rescuees onboard.

SOS Mediterranee -- the organization that runs the Ocean Viking rescue ship -- announced on Wednesday afternoon (August 11) that the last remaining migrants and refugees had left the ship. "The disembarkation of 549 survivors from the Ocean Viking... is complete," they wrote on Twitter. According to the organization, the migrants had spent up to 12 days aboard the ship.

The ship had landed and started disembarkations in the port of Pozzallo in the southern Italian territory of Sicily four days earlier on Sunday.

Migrant disembarkation took four days

SOS Mediterranee shared regular updates about the disembarkation on Twitter. According to the organization, 97 rescuees left the ship on Sunday, 197 on Monday, and 56 on Wednesday. (This would mean that 199 migrants left the ship on Tuesday -- the organization did not share the number of disembarked people for that day.)

According to local newspaper La Sicilia, most of the migrants will now spend their coronavirus quarantine aboard the ship GNV Azzurra.

555 migrants rescued in late July

The Ocean Viking had rescued 555 people in the central Mediterranean in several operations in late July. Six people had been evacuated before the ship landed in Pozzallo due to medical emergencies.

The Ocean Viking is the second ship to finish the disembarkation of rescued migrants in Sicily since the weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday, 257 people left the Sea-Watch 3 in Trapani.

This brings the number of migrant arrivals Italy has registered so far this year to over 30,000, according to data published by UN refugee agency UNHCR and Italy's government.

 

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