August 18, 2019 / 12:51 PM / a month ago

Charity boat says unable to dock in Spain given urgency of situation

Minors who were among migrants stranded on the Spanish migrant rescue ship Open Arms are pictured before disembarking from an Italian Finance Police boat, in Lampedusa, Italy August 17, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

MADRID (Reuters) - A charity that operates a rescue ship carrying more than a hundred migrants off the coast of Italy on Sunday said that it could not accept an offer from Spain to dock in Algeciras, citing an emergency situation on board.

The migrants, most of whom are African, were picked up by the Open Arms boat off the coast of Libya and have been waiting to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

“We do not accept Spain as a port to go because we are in a state of extreme humanitarian emergency. What they need is to be disembarked now,” Open Arms’ spokeswoman said.

“It is unthinkable to navigate for six days; that is what it would takes for us to arrive to Algeciras.”

Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by David Goodman

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