244 migrants arrive in Italy following rescue operation off Libyan shores

Bari: At least 244 women, men and children rescued from 3 boats in distress in off Libyan shores have arrived in the Italian port city of Bari, announced SOS Méditerranée on Saturday.

The European NGO, which operates rescue ship Ocean Viking, rescued the migrants on December 27 on three different operations.

122 people, including 8 unaccompanied minors, were first rescued “from an overcrowded wooden boat in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, under instructions of a Libyan patrol vessel,” said SOS Méditerranée.

“An overcrowded double deck wooden boat was spotted in the international waters off Libya from the bridge lookout,” added the NGO. “Under Italian coordination, the OceanViking team rescued 106 people, including 8 women, 2 being pregnant and 4 children.”

Then, the rescue shop spotted “an unseaworthy fiberglass boat” with 16 migrants onboard. They were rescued “under Italian coordination”.

SOS Méditerranée said it was the Italian authorities who assigned Bari as a place of disembark.