Without a comprehensive plan for what to do about migrants rescued in the Mediterranean, European countries continue to fight about what to do in each case.

June 2018

AQUARIUS (NGO)

629 migrants | A week at sea after rescue

Italy blocked the Aquarius from coming to port. Malta also refused. Spain stepped in to accept the vessel, which then spent nearly a week in heavy seas navigating to Valencia.

June 2018

LIFELINE (NGO)

230 migrants | A week at sea after rescue

Italy again closed its doors. The migrants ultimately landed in Malta and were divvied up among several other E.U. countries.

July 2018

SAROSET 5 (COMMERCIAL)

40 migrants | 2 weeks at sea after rescue

The vessel docked in Tunisia after Italy, France and Malta refused entry.

August 2018

DICIOTTI (ITALIAN COAST GUARD)

177 migrants | at least five days at port

The migrants were kept on board for five days even after they arrived at a Sicilian port. They were allowed to disembark after several other countries, as well as the Italian Catholic Chuch, agreed to take them.

January 2019

SEA WATCH AND SEA EYE (NGOs)

49 migrants | 19 days at sea after rescue

Thirty-two migrants rescued by the Sea Watch were in limbo for nearly three weeks until Malta opened its doors, as part of a redistribution deal involving nine countries. Another 17 migants on another ship, the Sea Eye, arrived in Malta as part of the same arrangement after waiting for two weeks.

March 2019

EL HIBLU 1 (OIL TANKER)

100 migrants | one or two days at sea

The vessel intended to send the migrants back to Libya. But several migrants, fearful of returning to that country, allegedly overtook the boat by force and directed it toward Malta. Maltese special forces unit stormed the boat, regained control, and escorted it to port, where the migrants were allowed to disembark.

April 19

SEA EYE (NGOS)

64 migrants | 10 days at sea

Italy and Malta both denied the vessel port entry; the migrants ultimately disembarked in Malta with military patrol boats, to be distributed among four countries.

June 2019

MARIDIVE 601 (COMMERCIAL)

75 migrants | three weeks

An Egyptian tugboat that rescued migrants was stranded at sea without port access until Tunisia opened its doors.

June 2019

SEA WATCH (NGO)

43 migrants | two weeks and counting

The vessel rescued the migrants, headed toward Italy, and was ordered not to enter Italian territorial waters. The boat remained in international waters until its 14th day at sea with the rescued migrants, when the captain decided to defy Italian orders and head toward the island of Lampedusa.