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Italy blocks Sea-Watch 3 from leaving port on safety issues

February 1, 2019
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The migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, carrying 47 migrants, comes into dock at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2018. The Sea-Watch 3, operated by the German aid group Sea Watch, was being escorted by Italian coast guard ships into port in Catania on Thursday morning after being kept at sea for nearly two weeks while Italy pressed other European countries to agree to take them in. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

MILAN (AP) — The Italian Coast Guard says that the ship operated by the German humanitarian group Sea-Watch will not be allowed to leave port due to safety violations.

The Coast Guard said in a statement Friday that a series of violations were discovered during an inspection of the ship, and that the Sea-Watch 3 can leave only when resolved. The problems were not specified.

The ship was permitted to disembark 47 migrants rescued on Jan. 19 off Libya after other European nations agreed to take some in.

The standoff was another in a series since Italy’s populist government adopted a policy of not allowing rescue ships to bring migrants to Italy’s shores, in a bid to force EU partners to share the burden of arrivals.

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The migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, carrying 47 migrants, comes into dock at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2018. The Sea-Watch 3, operated by the German aid group Sea Watch, was being escorted by Italian coast guard ships into port in Catania on Thursday morning after being kept at sea for nearly two weeks while Italy pressed other European countries to agree to take them in. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)