Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti docks in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo with 522 migrants and a corpse, UN refugee agency says.
Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti docked in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo on Tuesday, carrying more than 500 migrants and the body of one migrant who died trying to make the crossing to Europe.
It comes days after Italy's new far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini banned NGO rescue ships from docking in Italy, warning that NGO migrant rescue ships would not be allowed to unload their "human cargo" in Italian ports.
"Diciotti ship finally lands in Pozzallo taking 522 people to safe port," the UN's refugee agency tweeted.
"They were rescued in multiple operations, 42 of them survived drowning and they need urgent medical care and psychological support," the UNHCR-Italy said, adding that it was at the scene along with Italian authorities and humanitarian organisations.
A dozen very dehydrated migrants, including six children, three women and one man, had already been sent to Pozzallo and taken into care by the Italian Red Cross.
#NOW #Diciotti ship finally lands in #Pozzallo taking 522 people to safe port. They were rescued in multiple operations, 42 of them survived a drowning and they need urgent medical care + pshycological support. UNHCR team present, along w/authorities & humanitarian organisations. pic.twitter.com/9euQFflJJ9— UNHCR Italia (@UNHCRItalia) June 19, 2018
A nearby ship from the NGO Sea Watch offered to help provided it could dock with the migrants at an Italian port, which the Italian authorities refused.
UNHCR communications officer Marco Rotunno said they were all in a very delicate psychological state because of the time at sea.
Forty-two of the migrants onboard were originally rescued by the US navy vessel Trenton, plucked from the sea after their boat capsized nearly a week ago. Twelve bodies were also recovered.
Since then, the survivors along with hundreds of other migrants rescued in separate incidents have been out at sea waiting for Italian authorities to name a port for them to dock.
The new anti-immigrant Italian government last week banned the French NGO-operated vessel Aquarius, with more than 600 migrants on board, from docking in Italy, causing uproar and a sharp spat with France.
Salvini, who took office on June 1, accuses the charities of being complicit with human smugglers operating in Libya.
An Italian court on Tuesday, however, dropped due to lack of evidence a case in which two NGOs, including Sea Watch, had been accused of having links with human smugglers and facilitating illegal immigration to Italy.