Dozens of migrants seek asylum on Mediterranean oil rigs | Immigration News

Rescuers said that 65 to 70 people were on the Shell oil platform, where they had been “staying up all night.”

Energy giant Shell and a rescue charity stated that as many as 70 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean took refuge on an oil platform before being handed over to the Tunisian authorities.

The rescue ship Louise Michel announced in a statement on Tuesday that it had rescued 31 people from a drifting wooden boat in inclement weather, while “another 65-70 people spent the night in Shell Petroleum. Hold on to the platform”, they have boarded the platform.

Shell Tunisia confirmed that at 8 pm Tunis time (19:00 GMT) on Monday evening, an unknown number of immigrants arrived at the Miskar platform about 120 kilometers (75 miles) off the coast of Tunisia.

The company said: “These migrants have been helped and received water, food and dry clothes,” adding that it has notified the Tunisian authorities.

It added: “Since then, these migrants have been safely transferred to Tunisian naval vessels at around 2 pm Tunis time on January 4, 2022.”

The Louise Michel is a 30-meter (98-foot) long former French navy ship decorated by the elusive British artist Banksy, one of its sponsors.

It is one of several rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean because tens of thousands of immigrants Try to reach europe Every year, often on leaky and crowded boats.

It is not uncommon for some trapped people to seek refuge on offshore oil platforms, although operators warn that this can be dangerous.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 115,000 people arrived in Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta by sea last year, while approximately 1,800 died or were missing.