27 migrants are suffering from 'serious' psychological conditions after being stuck on an oil tanker for 6 weeks because no country would take them
An oil tanker owned by shipping company Maersk Tankers rescued 27 migrants off the coast of Malta on August 4, the company said.
After this, the ship — whose supplies began running out — was unable to dock anywhere, prompting Maersk Tankers to launch formal appeals to governments.
On September 6, three of the migrants jumped overboard in desperation, and left a note thanking the captain but saying: "European[s] don't need us." (They ultimately survived the leap.)
On September 11, the migrants were transferred from the tanker to a humanitarian vessel, and are now in "serious" psychological condition, according to nonprofit Mediterranea.
So far, no country is letting them in still. An ongoing international standoff about where they can reach dry land continues.
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Twenty-seven migrants are suffering "serious" physical and psychological effects after being stuck on an oil tanker for six weeks, a humanitarian nonprofit has said.
The migrants, who were picked up by the Maersk Etienne as their rickety boat sank in early August, had been adrift because no country allowed the tanker to dock with the migrants on board.
Supplies on the ship had been running low, and the vessel had warned that the situation was unsustainable. In early September three of the migrants threw themselves overboard in desperation.
The three were rescued again, but their jump — and their heartfelt notes written to the captain before they did so — were read as a cry for help.
On Friday, all 27 migrants were transferred to the Mare Jonio rescue ship, according to tweets from Maersk Tankers, the company that operates the Etienne, and humanitarian group Mediterranea Rescue, which operates the rescue ship.
Maersk Etienne is scheduled to dock at a "suitable port" and get the crew "the care they need," Maersk Tankers said in a statement.
The migrants, meanwhile, are in "serious psycho-physical conditions," Mediterranea Rescue said.
A tale of three boats
On August 4, Maersk Etienne responded to an urgent request from Maltese authorities to rescue a group of migrants in distress, according to Maersk Tankers.
As soon as the group was rescued, their ramshackle vessel disintegrated, the company said.