The humanitarian boat Open Arms, run by the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms charity and carrying 60 migrants, arrived at the port of Barcelona on Wednesday (July 4) morning after it was denied safe port by Italy and Malta.
Migrants aboard the ship were seen applauding and celebrating as the ship approached the Barcelona harbour. In a similar episode on June 11, Spain offered to take in another charity rescue boat, Aquarius, with 629 migrants aboard, after Italy and Malta had refused to let it dock in their ports. Proactiva Open Arms said the migrants on board the boat, who it picked up last Saturday (June 30), included five women and four children, of various nationalities including Palestinians, Syrians and Guineans. More than 650,000 migrants have come ashore in Italy since 2014, mostly after being rescued at sea off the Libyan coast by private and public groups. Italy is sheltering about 170,000, but the number of arrivals has plummeted this year.