VATICAN CITY – A Spanish migrant rescue group says its ship with 216 migrants is waiting to be let into a port in Italy after having a high-seas run-in with the Libyan coast guard during the rescue.
Proactiva Open Arms said a sick baby and her mother were evacuated to Malta on Friday, while the other migrants and crew waited at sea for instructions. Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza said for the first time Italy's coast guard is requiring Spanish authorities to formally ask that the Proactiva ship be allowed to dock.
Lanuza said a Libyan coast guard vessel threatened Thursday to shoot Proactiva's rescue dinghies if they didn't offload their passengers during the rescue in international waters, 73 miles (117 kilometers) off Libya's coast. Proactiva refused and eventually the Libyan ship pulled away.