Madrid sending navy ship to bring migrants on ‘Open Arms’ boat to Spain
The Spanish government said on Tuesday it was sending a navy ship to the Italian island of Lampedusa to escort the ‘Open Arms’ rescue ship to Spain. The move could bring an end to an ordeal that has seen migrants stranded in the Mediterranean for 19 days.
“The Audaz will depart this afternoon at 5pm and will sail for three days to Lampedusa, where it will take charge of the people hosted by the Open Arms and escort the boat… to the port of Palma in Mallorca,” the Socialist government said in a statement.
The ‘Open Arms’ ship, run by a Spanish charity of the same name, was still unaware of the plan. Earlier on Tuesday the charity described the situation on board as “out of control.”
It said that at least ten people had jumped overboard in a “desperate” attempt to swim to Lampedusa, Reuters reports.