The Open Arms Uno is seen here docked at the port of Burriana, Spain | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/DOMENECH CASTELLO
The Open Arms Uno is seen here docked at the port of Burriana, Spain | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/DOMENECH CASTELLO

The Spanish Open Arms NGO rescued 101 migrants in the central Mediterranean. This was the first humanitarian mission of its new flagship, Uno. In the meantime, the influx of migrant arrivals in the regions of Calabria and Sicily continues.

Open Arms' new flagship, Uno, saved 101 people during the first rescue operation in the central Mediterranean.

"After hours of search in the first search and rescue operation of the #OpenArmsUno in international waters of the central #Med, 101 people abandoned drifting are already safe, facing the silence and passivity of the Maltese authorities responsible," the NGO said in Spanish on Facebook.

Italy once again overwhelmed

Meanwhile, migrant arrival numbers continue to climb in Calabria and Sicily where in the past 24 hours, there were hundreds new arrivals registered.

On Tuesday evening, 240 migrants arrived in the port of Roccella in Calabria, together with an additional 250 who were rescued in military operations by the Italian coast guard. The refugees were of different nationalities and included families and about 60 unaccompanied minors. Other than the minors, who were taken to Messina, the refugees in Roccella were checked for their COVID status and placed in a temporary Red Cross structure in the port.

They were found approximately 50 miles off the coast of Calabria, floating on an old fishing boat which had left from Libya five days earlier.

In the first hours of the afternoon, an additional 74 migrants arrived in Calabria. They had reportedly come from Turkey, with their sailboat ending up stranded on the shoreline of Palizzi in the province of Reggio Calabria. The migrants on board were of different nationalities, with only one woman being found on board as they disembarked and were sent to emergency shelters in the province.

Swimmers had alerted the authorities after seeing the boat arrive on the beach. They notified the police, who arrived on the scene alongside military coast guard officials.

The migrants were also tested for COVID as well as other illnesses; some of them were found to test positive for scabies.

Arrivals on Sicily

Meanwhile in Sicily, 20 Tunisian nationals including a woman were taken to the island between Tuesday and Wednesday night after being rescued near Lampedusa. The group was taken to the Contrada Imbriacola hotspot which was already hosting 380 persons and running 10% above capacity.

Then, another 184 migrants reached Lampedusa on Wednesday, traveling on two different boats. They were confirmed to be of different Egyptian, Syrian and Pakistani origins. Their boat was found 12 miles off the coast and had come from Libya.


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