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  • A migrant, part of a group of 69 migrants rescued 117 nautical miles south west of Malta by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM), waits to be processed after arriving at the AFM Maritime Squadron base in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta December 30, 2018

    A migrant, part of a group of 69 migrants rescued 117 nautical miles south west of Malta by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM), waits to be processed after arriving at the AFM Maritime Squadron base in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta December 30, 2018 | Photo: Reuters file.

Published 31 December 2018

A precarious wooden boat 117 nautical miles off the coast of Malta carrying 69 migrants was found and its crew was rescued and carried to the base in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta.

69 migrants were rescued by a patrol boat dispatched by Malta's navy on a rescue mission, Sunday.

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A precarious wooden boat 117 nautical miles off the coast of Malta carrying 69 migrants was found and its crew was rescued and carried to the base in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta.

The boat, which was in risk of capsizing, sent a distress signal that was answered by the Maltese navy which sent a boat to rescue it.

The migrants are waiting to be ‘processed’ by Maltese authorities. Their origin has not been indicated in the news reports covering the humanitarian case.

 At the same time a German vessel named Sea-Watch 3 which already had a crew of 17 rescued migrants from West Africa on board, was responding to a report of another boat in distress with a crew of 24 migrants.

So far, Italy, Malta, Spain, and the Netherlands have refused to take in the migrants rescued by Sea-Watch 3.

Another rescue boat of Dutch origin named Sea Watch has recently rescued 32 migrants, including three children, three adolescents, and four women from Nigeria, Libya, and the Ivory Coast, whose future also remains uncertain.

These last few months several rescue boats have undertaken missions to provide emergency help to these people undergoing horrific life-threatening situations at sea, but then countries like Germany have policies of only accepting some of the migrants if other European countries share part of the ‘burden.’

Meanwhile, there are German cities which are actually saying they are willing to take in the migrants.

The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) data shows that 1,300 migrants have died in the attempt to reach Italy or Malta since the beginning of 2018.

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