Aquarius has received formal permission from the Maltese authorities to enter the port of Valletta. MSF is relieved that a place of safety has been found for the 141 vulnerable people rescued on the Mediterranean.

We welcome the news that Germany, France, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain have also agreed to share responsibility in a coordinated European response.

Mediterranean sea, Aquarius, search and rescue
At 11:50 AM local time on Friday, 10 August 2018, 25 people were rescued in the Central Mediterranean near the Libyan coast. The rescued people were found adrift on a small wooden boat with no engine on board and were believed to have been at sea for nearly 35 hours. Photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/SOS MEDITERRANEE

Since the rescues on Friday, our priority has been to ensure the wellbeing of those rescued at sea, and in line with international and maritime law disembark them in a place of safety without delay so that the Aquarius can continue providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance for those still in distress in the Central Mediterranean.

As Malta is one of the closest places of safety, docking there saves people rescued from being stranded on the rescue ship for even longer length of time.

Long-term sustainable solutions that address the humanitarian crisis on the Central Mediterranean are still desperately needed. This is the responsibility of the EU as a whole, and we look forward to seeing more concrete examples of European leadership and solidarity on this issue in the future. However, we remain gravely concerned about the current situation on Central Mediterranean and the future of humanitarian action at sea.