Migrant boats land in Lampedusa as new surge begins

Lampedusa migrants

Migrant boats have arrived on the island of Lampedusa

Mark White

By Mark White

Published: 29/09/2023

- 13:43

More than 11,000 arrived on the island in under a week.

The first migrant boats for more than a week have reached the Italian island of Lampedusa today, GB News can confirm.

Strong winds had prevented migrant boat arrivals for the past 8 days, after more than 11,000 arrived on the island in under a week.

Yesterday, GB News revealed that Italian authorities were braced for a new surge in migrant arrivals, beginning on Friday.

This morning, an Italian police patrol boat escorted a wooden migrant vessel into the main port in Lampedusa.

WATCH NOW: Mark White on the island of Lampedusa

GB News has been told that 38 men, all from Bangladesh, were onboard the 9-meter long boat.

They were taken to Italian Red Cross tends and ambulances on the quayside.

After being checked by Red Cross medics, they were transferred to the main migrant camp on Lampedusa.

That camp, known locally as the 'hotspot' was cleared of the last of its migrants on Tuesday evening, as officials made room for the expected new arrivals.

Just a fortnight ago, the camp was overwhelmed by the many thousands who arrived on the island in less than a week.

At the height of the surge, local police clashed with migrants as they scaled the camp's perimeter fences, in an attempt to head into the main town.

Since then, dozens more Red Cross volunteers and police have arrived on Lampedusa in preparation for the next wave of migrant arrivals

On Friday morning, an Italian Coastguard vessel also arrived at the main port carrying another group of migrants.

GB News understands that 34 of those migrants are Syrian nationals and another is Sudanese.

A short time later, a third migrant boat made it to Lampedusa, carrying 17 Tunisians.

Well placed sources said that people smugglers were taking advantage of the improvement in weather conditions and were in the process of launching dozens of other migrant boats from the Tunisian coast.

In Lampedusa, a delegation of MEPs arrived on a fact finding visit to the island on Friday, as the European Union works on a way to manage the migrant crisis which has seen record numbers arriving in the EU this year.

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