The Captain Morgan ship moored in international waters 13 nautical off Malta will remain out at sea until the 57 migrants on board are relocated to other European states, according to sources close to the government.

The sources told Times of Malta that the tourist boat provided a temporary solution until a permanent one is found for those rescued.

“Unfortunately, we go from one temporary solution to another. In the past, there were occasions where other European states offered to shoulder part of the burden by accepting some of the migrants arriving at our shores. But after that, the same thing happens again and we have to beg someone to help us. We need to stop begging and a proper mechanism is needed,” the sources said.

The Captain Morgan group’s Europa II, which usually ferries tourists on trips around the island, left its Sliema berth on Thursday afternoon and moored in international waters. It is currently housing 56 migrants who were rescued in Maltese waters on Tuesday and Wednesday in an operation that is understood to have been coordinated by the Maltese government.

The arrangement follows Malta’s decision to close its ports in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It also follows Malta’s declaration that the country is not any longer a safe port for these migrants.

“We never find European states to help us so this is a solution we came up with to save lives. At least the migrants are not on a rickety dinghy, which is possibly taking in water,” the sources said.

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