At least 57 migrants that were rescued by Malta’s armed forces are waiting aboard a Captain Morgan cruise ship until the European Union offers them help.
The migrants, all male, found themselves aboard the Europa II, a ship generally rented out for day tours and parties, just 13 nautical miles from Maltese shores, where they will remain in limbo until orders arrive from Brussels.
“Malta’s position is clear – our ports are closed,” a government spokesperson told Lovin Malta. “Now, it’s the European Union’s turn to show solidarity and carry the responsibility of these migrants.”
“The EU has a giant crisis looming in the face of human trafficking and our country, by itself, is no longer in a position to do more.”
The migrants ended up aboard a commercial vessel after a joint effort by the Armed Forces of Malta and a private vessel to rescue the migrants in peril of perishing in the middle of the Mediterranean.
The migrants were then taken aboard the Europa II, which is now providing the migrants with food and water after the government contracted them.
However, with no real response from the EU, there’s no indication of how long the migrants might be stuck aboard the vessel just one mile out of Maltese waters.
“Indeed,” the government spokesperson continued, “as we were coordinating the rescue mission, the Maltese government made official contact with the European Commission and all the EU members states to find a way to relocate these migrants in a permanent way.”
Malta has found itself on the forefront of a migration crisis that has seen desperate migrants board poor quality vessels in their aim of finding a better life in Europe. While the lucky ones are either detained in Europe or rescued in time, the unlucky ones can find themselves locked in a Libyan prison, or dead at the bottom of the sea.