Hollywood actor Richard Gere joined the crew of a rescue ship carrying 121 migrants on August 9 as it remained in the Mediterranean Sea having been refused entry by Malta and Italy.
The Open Arms, a tow ship operated by the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, last docked in Sicily on July 22, before continuing recovery missions in the Mediterranean.
According to the NGO’s founder, Oscar Camps, the ship picked more than 50 people on August 1, including 16 women and two babies. A nighttime rescue the following day saw a further 68 people brought on board, including two children and two pregnant women.
On August 3, the Italian Coast Guard evacuated the two pregnant women from the ship, along with the sister of one of the women.
On August 5, the Italian government won a vote on a decree drawn up by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, which raised the maximum fine for ships that enter Italian waters without authorization to €1 million, and provided for the arrest of sea captains who ignored warnings to stay away.
Earlier in the year, on June 29, the captain of migrant rescue ship Sea Watch 3, Carola Rackete, was arrested on the Italian island of Lampedusa after she defied a ban to bring her ship into Italian waters.
Geer was due to attend a press conference in Lampedusa on Saturday, August 10, ANSA said. Credit: Proactiva Open Arms via Storyful