SPAIN has decided to send a navy ship to pick up hundreds of migrants trapped at sea on a migrant rescue ship.
The NGO boat Open Arms has been at sea for 19 days having rescued around 150 migrants from the Mediterranean.
Conditions aboard the vessel have been worsening and several migrants have jumped overboard in a bid to swim to the Italian Island of Lampedusa.
“After analyzing a number of different options, the Spanish government, in accordance with the logistic recommendations of the Navy, believes that this action is the most appropriate and will allow for the resolution of the humanitarian emergency on board,” said a spokesman for Spain’s ruling PSOE party.
The Navy ship Audaz will set sail at today from the Rota naval base in Cádiz once preparations have been made, the spokesman added.
Medical staff and psychologists have been placed aboard the Audaz to treat the migrants en route to Spain.
The government has proposed escorting the Open Arms to the port of Palma, on the Balearic island of Mallorca.
The journey to the Italian island will the take the patrol boat three days.