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Rescue boat with 82 migrants can dock at Italian island

The Ocean Viking had appealed for days for a port of safety

A dinghy 14 nautical miles from the coast of Libya (Renata Brito/AP)
A dinghy 14 nautical miles from the coast of Libya (Renata Brito/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A charity rescue boat with 82 migrants on board says it has been given permission to dock at a tiny Italian island.

Ocean Viking’s crew said on Saturday that Italian authorities instructed the ship to sail to Lampedusa island.

The Ocean Viking, which had appealed for days for a port of safety, is operated by two humanitarian groups, Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee.

It is not clear if Italy’s new government is softening its anti-migrant policy. The previous coalition banned charity boats from bringing migrants to Italy.

Fifty of those on board were rescued on September 8 from human traffickers’ flimsy rubber dinghy launched from Libya.

Thirty-four other migrants were rescued the next day in the Mediterranean. A woman about to give birth and her husband were taken to Malta earlier in the week.

PA

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