Maersk Tankers said the captain and crew of its chemical tanker 36,941-dwt Etienne quickly rescued the three migrants and brought them back aboard. But the company repeated its demand for a port and urgent humanitarian assistance to ensure that the passengers 'are immediately given the attention and care that they need'.
The Etienne rescued a group of 27 would-be refugees last month at the request of Maltese authorities as the migrants' fishing boat sank. Malta, however, has refused to let the migrants disembark and the Etienne has been stuck in international waters 17 miles off the small European Union island nation as food and water supplies are running low.
The Maersk has reported that tensions aboard the ship were growing. Malta, like Italy, often balks at taking in rescued migrants, insisting that other EU nations should share the burden of caring for people rescued in the central Mediterranean.
In Britain, anti-migrant protesters demonstrated in the English city of Dover against immigration and the journeys made by refugees crossing the Channel. They called for authorities to do more to protect English shores at the southern port nearest to mainland Europe.