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The Latest: 9 migrants jump into sea trying to reach Italy

The Latest on the European migrant crisis:

11:35 a.m.

The humanitarian group Open Arms say another nine migrants have jumped into the sea “desperately trying to reach the coast of Lampedusa” — the Italian island only a few hundred yards away.

Open Arms said Tuesday that both the Italian coast guard and its own crew are trying to rescue them, adding “the situation is out of control.”

Live video shows people wearing orange life vests floating in the sea, some in groups some individually, with a coast guard vessel nearby and rubber dinghies trying to reach them.

The incident comes after another man threw himself into the sea earlier in the day. He was rescued by the Coast Guard but was refusing to return to the Open Arms ship. The standoff with Italy is in its 19th day, as Italy’s hard-line interior minister refuses to allow the Spanish ship access to a safe port even though other European nations have offered to take the migrants.

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10:45 a.m.

The Spanish humanitarian rescue ship Open Arms says another man had to be rescued after jumping into the sea as the stand-off with Italy, which won’t permit it access to a port, entered its 19th day.

Open Arms described the situation on board Tuesday as “desperate,” saying that a man threw himself into the water, trying to reach land that is in plain view, while at the same moment a woman suffered a panic attack.

The Open Arms captain previously informed Italian authorities that the crew of 17 could no longer control the situation on board, as frustrated migrants resort to fighting.

Italy’s hard-line interior minister has refused port access to the ship, docked just off the island of Lampedusa, even though six other European countries have agreed to take the passengers.


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