Migrants refuse to disembark from cruise ship that rescued them

By Curious

Nearly 300 Syrian and Palestinian refugees were refusing to disembark from the cruise ship Salamis Filoxenia in the port of Limassol demanding to be taken to Italy.

Yesterday, the liner rescued 345 people from a distressed boat in stormy weather off southern Cyprus. About 65 willingly left the cruise ship and were transferred to a camp near Nicosia, the others stayed onboard. Furthermore, the cruise company suffered huge losses because it had to sail to Israel yesterday with 300 passengers but the sail was cancelled and the passengers were accommodated in hotels.

Salamis Cruise Lines Managing Director Kikis Vassiliou said:

"We were supposed to sail at 10:30 tonight (19:30 GMT), unfortunately these people want to negotiate. They want us to send them to Italy.

"We did our outmost to save their lives, to give them food, support and now they want to destroy this company."

Finally, the migrants have agreed to disembark following a tense standoff with authorities.

Salamis Filoxenia (IMO number 7359400 and MMSI 209167000) was built in 1974 and is registered in Cyprus. The GT 16,331-tonne vessel has a capacity for 1009 guests, its crew is 216.