Hundreds of migrants disembark at Sicilian port of Trapani

A total of 371 migrants who were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean Sea arrived in Sicily’s Trapani on Saturday, as the humanitarian organisation SOS Mediterranee said it was incorrect to assume that the flow of migrants in the area had diminished.

The migrants, mainly of African origin, were rescued in international waters off the Libyan coast and taken to port by the SOS Mediterranee vessel Aquarius.

SAR zone cordinator for SOS Mediterranee on Board the Aquarus, Madeline Habib said despite the political situation, it is very clear that there is still a need for NGOs to be operating and conducting rescues in the Mediterranean

“I think it’s not correct to say that the flow has diminished. The flow has always been erratic, but the numbers are not consistent. So, in the last month there has been a decrease but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t thousands of people in Libya waiting to make this voyage. And what we saw yesterday was when the conditions were good there were people out there in flimsy boats who needed to be rescued,” she said.

The Aquarius rescued a total of 262 migrants in two operations on Thursday.

The migrants were rescued from two rubber boats which SOS Mediterranee said could have broken or deflated at any moment after having sailed for several hours in the sea.