Italy Impounds Spanish Migrant Ship

Berthed vessel in Portland, Dorset to house asylum seekers for the first time in the UK

Italy has impounded a Spanish charity ship used to rescue migrants, according to reports.

As per Fox News, the Italians have impounded the Spanish charity rescue ship Open Arms, for violating rules banning multiple migrant rescues at sea, the charity has said.

Open Arms has called the impounding a ‘violation of the law of the sea’ that requires boats to rescue people in distress.

The ship is blocked from leaving the port of Carrera for 20 days and the charity has been handed a fine of between 3,000 and 10,000 euros.

Italy took the decision after two rescues of 69 people in international waters on Saturday last weekend. Open Arms said it then received news that another migrant boat was in danger and overcrowded and so it went to the rescue, with its captain questioned for six hours afterwards as the boat was impounded after arriving in Carrera.

The Italian government has made no statements about the decision.

It is the second time that the Open Arms ship has been temporarily impounded. It and two other charity rescue boats were impounded over three days in August.

Italian Prime Giorgia Meloni has previously said he and her government would take “extraordinary measures” to deal with migrants arriving in Italy.

As per Interior Ministry statistics as of mid-September, close to 126,000 people had arrived in Italy by boat this year, compared to 66,000 in the same period of 2022.

Meloni is among the leaders who travelled to Spain this week for the latest summit of the European Political Community.

Granada has been hosting the EPC, with things like the war in Ukraine, tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the migrant situation all on the agenda.

It remains to be seen what happens next with Open Arms, meanwhile, as you can imagine they will be back to rescuing migrants as soon as they can be.

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Written by

George Dagless

George is an experienced digital publisher covering both news and sport.