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Captain of Sea Watch 3's message to Salvini: 'Don't play games with people's lives'

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Captain of Sea Watch 3's message to Salvini: 'Don't play games with people's lives'
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Sea Watch 3, the rescue ship carrying 42 African migrants still does not have access to the Italian island of Lampedusa. This is now the 16th day the boat has waited to disembark with the passengers surviving on just beans and rice.

Carola Rackete is the captain of the ship. She used to run an icebreaker in the North Pole before making the lives of these migrants her top priority.

"We have already declared a state of necessity. The life of the people [on board] are much more important than this law about entering the territorial waters...but the solution needs to be found fairly soon."

When asked what message she had for Salvini, she said "don't play games with people's lives".

Euronews correspondent Giorgia Orlandi boarded the Sea Watch 3 to speak to the people on board. She met with the refugees, the crew members and the captain and her verdict was that they were not living in good conditions. They've experienced extreme weather conditions given the heatwave in Italy right now; while their food supplies are sufficient but very basic. They have lived off of basic provisions for over half a month.

Although under these conditions, some of them don't see much of a difference between their previous life and their current ones. Isaac, 21, from Ghana said "everything is the same because we are being rescued and we are not on land".

Others are just hoping for a better life no matter where, as long as they are away from the suffering experienced in migrant camps in Libya. Sona Henry from Cameroon said he "doesn't have a choice, personally, anywhere in Europe that will take me I will accept it. I'm a migrant so I don't need to make a choice."

On Wednesday the ship decided to enter Italian waters near the island of Lampedusa. This happened despite threats of fines from Italy's Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini.

A new decree from the Interior Minister could mean those aiding any illegal immigrants could risk prosecution along with seizure of the boat and a fine of 50,000 euros.

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