Italy seizes German-flagged migrant rescue boat over safety rules | Italy

Italian authorities have seized a boat operated by a German charity that last month rescued more than 200 people stranded at sea because it did not comply with safety rules, according to the coastguard.

In April, Italy banned migrant rescue ships from docking in its ports until July 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It transfers all those saved at sea onto large ferries which must wait off its coast.

Sea-Watch 3, managed by German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch, had moored in the southern Italian port of Porto Empedocle.

The mainly African passengers were moved to the Italian ferry Moby Zaza, where 28 tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday, the coastguard said an inspection had found a number of irregularities that threatened the safety of those on board and the ship must fix them before resuming operations.

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