Migrants stranded on Mediterranean rescue boat in 'a desperate situation'

The 32 survivors of a rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea are in “a desperate situation”, a campaigner has said.

Volunteer Robin Jenkins, 45, from the Vale of Glamorgan, was on the Sea Watch 3 when it rescued the migrants off the coast of Malta on December 22.

He spoke as the group, which includes children, remains stranded on the boat at sea as no nation has granted it permission to dock with the migrants on board.

A petition calling for the UK Government to help find a port of safety for the vessel had topped 42,500 signatures by 5.30pm on Saturday.

Mr Jenkins said the group are owed the “same humanity” as other people he has rescued.

He said the group were in an inflatable boat that was “not suitable for seafaring” and had a smell of fuel coming from it.

He said: “There was one woman who we rescued with her seven-year-old son. She was a single mother who said that even one more day or one more hour in Libya was too much to bear.

“These people were desperate. They would have to be to have got into that boat.

“People back home don’t understand that the Mediterranean in December (and January) isn’t the same one in the summer holiday brochures. We’ve had waves of more than three metres.

“This is deadly. Their boat was deadly. And now they’re stuck at sea – after two weeks – because European countries cannot afford them the humanity that they deserve.

“They are just people. The same as the people I have pulled from rivers and off the coast in the UK and delivered back to shore. They are owed that same humanity.”

The petition, on Change.org, says the group are in “need of urgent help” as European countries refuse to open ports and provide shelter.

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