A CIVILIAN SHIP with 33 migrants aboard rescued off the Libyan coast appealed Sunday for a European Port to take them before the weather turns at Christmas.

German NGO ship Sea Watch 3 rescued the migrants, including four women and six children, when they were in difficulty attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean on Saturday.

''We have a requested a port of safety to disembark these people,'' Sea Watch spokesman Ruben Neugebauer told AFP.

''There is no country willing so far to offer the people safe port.''

Requests to receive the Dutch-flagged vessel have been made to several countries, he said, and Italy and Malta have refused. Their governments say they have to bear  unfair  burden of migrants arriving from Africa.

''We will try to do everything to get a port of safety before Christmas, because on the 25th the weather is worsening, so we urge European states to find a solution to within 24 hours,'' Neugebauer said

The rescued migrants include people from Nigeria, Libya and Ivory Coast.

A Spanish civilian rescue ship with over 300 migrants also rescued off Libya was on Saturday authorised to sail to Spain after Malta and Italy declined to let it come to port.

A newborn baby and mother  were helicoptered from the ship operated by Proactive open Arms to safety in Malta.

Sea Watch said that they had attempted to contact the Libyan search and rescue coordination centre but with no response.

More that 1,300 migrants have perished trying to reach Italy or Malta since the beginning of the year, according to the international Organization for Migration. [Agencies]


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