ABOARD THE OCEAN VIKING (AP) – An NGO migrant transport with 82 migrants aboard says it has been given permission to dock at a tiny Italian island.
Ocean Viking’s crew said Saturday that Italian authorities instructed the ship to sail to Lampedusa island.
The Ocean Viking, which had appealed for days for a European port of safety, is operated by two humanitarian groups, Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee.
It isn’t clear if Italy’s new government is softening its anti-migration policy. The previous coalition banned NGO ships from bringing migrants to Italy.
Fifty of those aboard were picked up on Sept. 8 from a flimsy rubber dinghy launched from Libya by people taffickers. Thirty-four other migrants were picked up the next day in the Mediterranean. A woman about to give birth and her husband were taken to Malta earlier in the week.