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Maersk cargo ship granted permission to dock in Italy

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By Anastassia Gliadkovskaya  & Alex Morgan
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Maersk cargo ship granted permission to dock in Italy
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A Danish container ship carrying migrants has been given permission to dock in Italy.

The Alexander Maersk, belonging to a freight company, was anchored off the coast of Sicily with over 100 passengers on board, awaiting permission to dock since Friday.

A Maersk spokesperson told Euronews that the ship was allowed to dock in Sicily in the early hours of Tuesday.

"The 108 people picked up in international waters between Libya and Malta were disembarked from the vessel."

Italian maritime authorities called upon the Maersk to aid a nearby boat in distress on Thursday evening. The recovery was carried out with the help of rescue vessel MV Lifeline, also still adrift due to refusals from both Italy and Malta to allow it to drop anchor.

“This is not the first time we have done something like this,” Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Line, told Euronews. “While our crew is well-trained in handling the rescue situation, they’re most certainly not trained and equipped for handling the well-being of so many people over a long period of time.”

The Maersk was built for a maximum capacity of 24 people. So the boat was at increased risk due to the number of people onboard and a lack of sanitation facilities.

There are no living quarters available for those aboard, according to Laursen.