Migrants transfer from Aquarius to Italian ships

A first group of 90 migrants have been transferred from research vessel Aquarius (IMO 7600574) to an Italian coast guard vessel. More than 400 people remained to be transferred to Italian navy and Coast guard vessels before being taken to Spain. It was not yet clear whether the 490 transferred migrants would be taken directly to Valencia, or how the remainder of the 629 initially on board the Aquarius would reach the Spanish mainland. Italian Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini, who blocked taking the migrants into Italy, has also told Italian media that a second humanitarian ship, Sea Watch 3, which is currently navigating off the Libyan coast, would not be allowed into Italian ports if it was involved in a migrant rescue operation. On June 12th the Sea Watch 3 said that she was heading towards a shipwreck 20 miles from Libya. A further 41 people had been rescued by a US Navy vessel.

1977-built, Gibraltar-flagged, 1,812 gt research vessel Aquarius is owned by Aquarius GmbH care of manager Jasmund Shipping GmbH of Germany. It is entered with Gard P&I (Bermuda) on behalf of MV Aquarius GmbH.