Dozens of migrants jumped overboard from their rescue boat outside the Italian port of Palermo on Thursday, before being plucked from the waves by the coast guard.
Proactiva Open Arms, a Spanish charity, said that 76 of the 276 migrants it had saved in the Mediterranean in its latest mission “threw themselves in the water in an attempt to reach the coast”.
“They are all safe, after being recovered by the Italian coast guard. Some 188 people remain on board, including women and children, two of whom are small,” it said in a statement.
The charity appealed to the Italian authorities to allow the remaining migrants to disembark.
The Open Arms ship has been waiting outside the Palermo port since yesterday, when it warned of a “critical situation” among the migrants, who were rescued in three operations between September 8-10 off the coasts of Malta and Libya.
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