Late last week container ship Eleonora Maersk was on it’s way from Tanjung Pelepas to Rotterdam when it was called upon by Malta’s Rescue Coordination Centre.
The rescue centre had received reports that over 200 migrants were in distress and requesting assistance, some 285 miles South East from Malta.
The crew on board the Eleonora Maersk investigated and made the decision to take the migrants on board as the weather conditions were worsening.
Once they arrived at Malta, the migrants – including woman and children believed to be of Syrian nationality – refused to be transferred to Armed Forces of Malta patrol boats. They requested to be taken to Italy.
After long discussions with Italy, the container ship finally arrived at an Italian Port, where the migrants disembarked.
This is not the first time that a merchant vessel has been called on to rescue migrants, and it is not the first time that the migrants have refused to disembark at a particular port.
The Eleonora Maersk is a container mega-ship, holding 15,500 twenty foot containers. The vessel is 397m long and at any time can be operated by around 13 crew members.
Do you want a tour of the Eleonora Maersk? Head here.
image credit: shipspotting.com and timesofmalta.com