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'Lampedusa boat' comes to Thames to highlight plight of migrants

A boat which had last year sailed from North Africa to Italy crammed with migrants made a special journey up the Thames on Wednesday to mark International Migrants Day.

'Lampedusa boat' comes to Thames to highlight plight of migrants
'Lampedusa boat' comes to Thames to highlight plight of migrants

The boat – TO6411 – was used to traffic 36 migrants from North Africa – including three children and a pregnant woman – when it and its human cargo were seized by local authorities off the island of Lampedusa in March 2012.

Artist Lucy Wood has turned the vessel into a performance art piece and a floating museum. She set sail from Lampedusa in the boat on World Refugee Day in June this year and arrived in London on 15 October.

Since then, the boat has been moored at South Dock Marina, Rotherhithe.

On Wednesday a crew of church leaders and parliamentarians travelled past the Palace of Westminster on board the boat to express their solidarity with the many men, women and children who perish on dangerous journeys as they flee war and seek a better life.

Participants in Wednesday's Thames trip included Simon Hughes MP, the Anglican Bishop of Croydon Rt Revd Jonathan Clark and Bishop John Arnold, Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

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