At least 15 refugees jumped from a rescue ship in a desperate attempt to swim to Italy’s shore after 19 days at sea.
Italian officials have refused to let the Spanish ship dock. Called Open Arms, has been waiting at the port of Lampedusa to bring the mostly African migrants ashore who are in need of asylum.
“A night of panic and a man in the water,” they tweeted. “The night started with an urgent medical evacuation, and that morning, a man jumped into the water wanting to reach the land he saw. During that, a panic attack. The situation is desperate. We have no more words.”
The rescue nonprofit says some refugees have made “threats of suicide.”
“This is unsustainable,” Open Arms Founder Oscar Camps stated.
Several people were injured while jumping and transported to hospitals in Lampedusa. Anti-immigration Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has prohibited Open Arms from docking in Italy.
At least six European countries offered to take the migrants. Spain’s acting prime minister announced he was deploying a navy rescue ship to transfer the migrants to Mallorca. At least 83 people reportedly remain on board and now face a three-day wait for the Spanish ship to arrive.