UPDATE: The Aquarius has transferred rescued people to Italian coast guard and navy vessels, leaving 51 women, 45 men and 10 children onboard the Aquarius.
AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK, JUNE 12, 2018—Hundreds of people rescued from boats in distress in the central Mediterranean will spend four more days at sea following a political standoff in which Italy refused to allow them to disembark in a port of safety. They include small children, unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, and urgent medical cases.
As of this morning, the Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run by the organizations SOS MEDITERRANEE and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), had 629 rescued people onboard, after rescuing 229 people from two boats in distress and accepting the transfer of 400 people rescued by Italian coast guard ships and a merchant ship.
All these activities were coordinated by the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (IMRCC), which took responsibility for the rescues.