Ordeal Over as Migrant Boat Crossing Mediterranean Docks in Valencia
RESCUE ships in the Aquarius aid convoy docked at the Spanish port of Valencia yesterday — ending a week-long ordeal for hundreds of migrants.
The Italian coastguard vessel Dattilo was the first of the three boats to arrive just before 7am.
It was followed by Aquarius, operated by aid groups SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders, and Italian navy ship the Orione.
The 630 migrants were met by health officials, Red Cross volunteers and psychologists.
Some were ‘very shaken’, said Valencia emergency official Jorge Suarez. ‘You get off a ship and the first people who greet you are wearing masks,’ he said.
The migrants were stranded off the coast of Sicily on June 9 when Italy and Malta refused permission for Aquarius to dock. After several days Spain stepped in and offered the rescue boat entry. The 930-mile journey across the Mediterranean took nearly a week.