German NGO rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 was assigned a port of safety on Friday, with Italian authorities allowing the ship with 257 migrants on board to dock in Sicily.
The ship will arrive in the port town of Trapani on the southern island on Saturday.
The announcement from the authorities comes a week after the first migrant rescues, and those on board were relieved to hear the news when it was announced by a crew member on the ship’s deck.
The humanitarian ship was one of two rescue ships that pulled 394 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean overnight last week on Sunday (August 1) in an operation lasting about six hours.
Migrant boat departures from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and other parts of Europe have increased in recent months as weather conditions have improved.
According to the U.N.- affiliated International Organization for Migration, more than 1,100 people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have perished this year in the Mediterranean.
Data from the Italian interior ministry shows that migrant arrivals in Italy have more than doubled compared to last year. As of August 5, 30,324 migrants have arrived in Italy throughout the year, compared with 14,832 in 2020, the data showed.