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A long, hard and expensive journey

The voyage of the migrants to Spain leaves without three rescue boats for a week a hot zone of Pateras

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A long, hard and expensive journey
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The 106 migrants left aboard Aquarius recovered a little of ir dignity yesterday. They were finally able to brush ir teeth and shower — only those who came soaked in gasoline were enjabonaron under a stream immediately after rescue. And y received plastic clogs and clean socks. But y also felt dizzy. The sea was choppy, waves were two meters, jumped on deck, and journey to Valencia, which began on Tuesday at 21.00 and will last about four days, is much more complicated than those that usually make boats of NGOs from area of tracking against Li BIA to south of Sicily. The wind was blowing forward.

Most of Aquarius ' guests spent day trying to mitigate dizziness. They avoided sudden movements in an attempt to soo stomach. A radical change over last two days, when he stood waiting for instructions. Lassine, 32 years old, and Awa, 30, are one of few who were well. "I am much better than first day, so I was fatal," he explained, who was ferrallero in Côte d'ivoire. He had been in Libya for two years without finding work, so she moved re with idea of trying to jump to Europe. And now y are marching to Spain, country of which y do not know everything. A migrant asked day before what language is spoken in Spain and if, once bought a mobile, could change language in which it operates.

The rest of rescued and transferred to Aquarius in early hours of Sunday in front of Libya travel in Dattilo, which heads flotilla, and Orione, two largest ships of Coast Guard of Italy. The sick, single women and families have remained on NGO boat, but many or unaccompanied women and children ( group includes 123) are on those military vessels, which have secured NGOs that have doctors and interpreters.

The Aquarius was a different place yesterday. Overcrowding is over, you could walk through decks without fear of stepping on anyone while you dozed. The tension had disappeared, but not fatigue. The mood was different: y were happy to have a safe harbor that wants to welcome m after negatives of Italian and Maltese authorities.

The Mediterranean can give a misleading image. The point between Italy and Malta where ship stood 48 hours was a dish of soup, but as voyage progressed sailing conditions were worsening. The Gulf of León is especially feared. "It is classified at North Atlantic level," explains Nicola Stalla, Aquarius Rescue coordinator. This trip will be very different from usual since it began to save lives in Mediterranean, in 2016. The laws governing bailouts stipulate that castaways must be taken to a safe harbor in shortest possible time. That is why migrants are usually on board for three days at most.

The voyage that this convoy has undertaken is four days. And this worries and generates distrust among NGOs, as it leaves a hot zone of Pateras transit without three rescue vessels. "A boat similar to that which has just taken 900 people to Catania (in reference to one of military ships of this flotilla) is sent to Spain, hundreds of nautical miles from where it is most urgently needed by Pateras in danger," emphasizes Stalla. The Diciotti was authorized to disembark 900 migrants in Catania three days after Italian Interior minister, Matteo Salvini, closed ports to Aquarius, which led to this crisis.

The SOS Mediterranee Rescue coordinator remembers that even for people who are moving journey is hard: "These people who rescued do not go on a motor yacht and well fed. Until shortly before leaving Libya many of m have been detained for months in concentration camps that are today Libyan camps. Require medical care and immediate care. "

In May 2017, Aquarius had to undertake a longer journey than usual with 1,032 people aboard, ir record. As ports of Sicily were closed, y were forced to sail to Salerno. This time political decisions taken in Rome and in Madrid lead m to Valencia.


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