Spanish humanitarian rescue boat Open Arms has said another nine migrants have jumped into the sea as a standoff with Italy entered its 19th day.
Open Arms described the situation on board as “desperate”, saying more migrants threw themselves into the water, trying to reach land that is in plain view, while at the same moment a woman suffered a panic attack.
The Open Arms captain previously told Italian authorities the crew of 17 could no longer control the situation on board as frustrated migrants resort to fighting.
Italy’s hardline interior minister has refused port access to the ship, docked just off the island of Lampedusa, even though six other European countries have agreed to take the passengers.
- Press Association