Four European parliamentarians sail on observer mission with Spanish rescue ship

A Spanish rescue ship set sail Thursday for international waters carrying four European parliamentarians, AP reports. The Astral left Malta to join the Open Arms rescue ship already in the search and rescue zone off the coast of Libya as EU nations bicker over managing migrant flows across the Mediterranean Sea. Both ships are operated by the Spain-based aid group Proactiva Open Arms. Miguel Urban, Ana Miranda and Javi Lopez of Spain, and Italian parliamentarian Eleonora Forenza joined the mission as observers and plan to share their accounts at the next European plenary session July 2-5 in Strasbourg. Astral’s captain, Riccardo Gatti, says he is not sure the boat will be allowed back into Malta’s port. Several charity-run rescue ships have been denied docking in Italy and Malta in recent weeks.