180 migrants are trapped aboard the humanitarian ship the Ocean Viking, trapped between Malta and Italy. - Ingenito / AP / SIPA

Stuck for several days between Malta and Italy on the humanitarian boat Ocean Viking of the association SOS Mediterranean, two migrants took the radical decision to jump into the water on Thursday to try to swim to the European shores.

They were rescued while the ambulance boat is still blocked in the Mediterranean after five requests to land in a port in one of the two countries. On board, there are 180 migrants, trapped in oppressive heat.

La situazione su #OceanViking si sta deteriorando.

Due naufraghi si sono lanciati in mare oggi. Sono stati subito soccorsi dai nostri team e sono nuovamente al sicuro a bordo.
Questo è ciò che accade quando si ritarda a lungo lo sbarco di sopravvissuti estremamente vulnerabili. pic.twitter.com/aK1T9WyyRJ

- SOS MEDITERRANEE ITA (@SOSMedItalia) July 2, 2020

Resumption after three months off

The Ocean Viking resumed operations on Monday after three months of stoppage due to the health situation, while the crossings of the central Mediterranean, between the Libyan and Tunisian coasts, on the one hand, and Malta or Italy, from the other explode.

"It is the first time in four and a half years [of rescue operations at sea by the NGO SOS Mediterranean] that something like this has happened," lamented Nicholas Romaniuk, rescue coordinator on board.

"I prefer to die and my family to know that I am dead, rather than to be there and that they do not know if I am dead or alive," explained a Moroccan who also wanted to take the plunge.

Another, a Pakistani national, prefers to put things into perspective: “We have emerged from the hell of Libya, SOS Mediterranean has rescued us, we are alive. When we stay one day, 5 days or 15 days, what can it do? "


Italy: nearly 400 migrants landed on a Sicilian beach


The “Ocean Viking” has collected 118 migrants and is waiting for a landing port

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