The non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rescued 230 refugees and Immigrantsamong them over 80 minors and an infant, during three operations in the Mediterranean within a few hours.
The NGO’s search and rescue ship rescued 69 people on a rubber boat on Tuesday night and another 61 from a second boat on Wednesday morning, it said.
A further 107 people were later rescued by other vessels. The operations took place in international waters, not far from the coast of Libya.
After the initial rescue, the Italian government ordered the MSF ship to move towards the city La Spezia (Liguria, north) to disembark refugees and migrants.
The Geo Barents however refused to obey the order to sail to Spezia immediately after the first rescue, as it received a call from people in danger, the organization said. He went to save other immigrants.