Two migrants rescued last Saturday by the NGO Sea-Eye are on the way to Malta for medical assistance.
A spokeswoman for the Armed Forces of Malta confirmed that two boys had been picked up from the rescue vessel Alan Kurdi and are en-route to the island on Thursday afternoon.
The boys had been suffering anxiety attacks and talking openly about their suicidal thoughts, a spokesman for Sea-Eye said. Their behaviour was increasingly causing distress to the other rescued people and many were discussing whether or not to attempt to swim to land, the NGO said in a statement.
Sea-Eye has said that Malta has refused to take responsibility for the co-ordination of the rescue operation for five days, despite the Maltese Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) never denying that the rescue occurred within the Maltese search and rescue zone.
The NGO says it found the boat inside Malta’s search and rescue zone and the Maltese authorities had initially agreed to assume responsibility for the rescue.
That changed “several hours later”, the Alan Kurdi’s head of mission said on Wednesday, when Maltese authorities got in touch and asked for information about the identities of the rescued people.
Sea-Eye said they are considering launching legal action against the Maltese government to determine the jurisdiction of the RCC.
The NGO's emails to the Maltese authorities seek permission for the disembarkation of 13 rescued persons, including eight minors.
Questions sent to the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the NGO's claims went unanswered.
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