Migrant rescue vessel heading to Malta despite lack of authorization

The NGO-operated rescue ship, the Alan Kurdi, is on its way to Malta on Sunday after having been refused entry into Lampedusa by Italian authorities.

The captain of the ship operated by the NGO Sea-Eye said on Saturday evening that the decision to change course for Malta had been taken hours after another vessel which entered port in Lampedusa was denied permission for its passengers to disembark.

Despite the vessel’s change in course, the Armed Forces of Malta said on Sunday morning that no permission has been granted for the vessel to enter Maltese territorial waters.

“The authorities will guide the AFM as to what action should be taken if the ship does enter Maltese territorial waters,” the spokesperson said, referring to the Armed Forces of Malta.

The vessel is carrying 65 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya on Saturday and is expected to arrive in Malta at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.