Migrant rescue ship asks Italy and Malta for medical evacuation of pregnant woman and safe haven for 83


A humanitarian ship carrying 84 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea appealed to Italian and Maltese authorities Wednesday for the medical evacuation of a 9 months pregnant woman and a safe place of disembarkation for the other passengers.

The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, found 50 of the migrants in a rubber boat Sunday, including the woman due to give birth at any time.

The ship also took on another 34 migrants Monday from a sailboat operated by another humanitarian group.

There was no immediate reply from Italian and Maltese authorities. Italy’s previous government closed its ports to humanitarian rescue ships. It not yet clear if the government that took office last week will continue the policy.

The Ocean Viking received instructions Tuesday to bring the migrants to the port in Zawiyah, Libya. The crew refused, saying Libya is not a safe place to disembark.