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Huge barge to hold 500 male asylum seekers on its way to UK from Italy

NewsHuge barge to hold 500 male asylum seekers on its way to UK from Italy

A huge barge capable of holding 500 asylum seekers is heading to the UK, it is being reported.

The floating barge that is planned to house around 500 male asylum seekers is currently being towed from Genoa, Italy, and is expected to arrive in Falmouth, Cornwall, according to Sky News.

The report says the vessel, named Bibby Stockholm, left Genoa Port on April 19 and is currently off the north coast of Spain.

It reports that its final destination is Falmouth, according to data from ship tracking website MarineTraffic.

It says the barge will be fitted out before being moved to Portland Port, Dorset.

READ MORE: Home Office looking to buy unused fleet of ships to home migrants

The barge, which will offer accommodation and catering facilities, will be ready for use this summer and is expected to be operational for at least 18 months.

Sky News’ Data and Forensics unit identified the barge in Genoa Port in April and has tracked its journey towards the UK.

It was docked in Genoa for several months before departing. It has no engine and is being towed by an Italian-flagged tugboat.

The Home Office told Sky News that the barge would “provide basic and functional accommodation, healthcare provision and catering facilities”.

It added that “24/7 security” would also be in place on board.

Home secretary Suella Braverman last month visited Rwanda, where she was given a tour of potential migrant housing as part of the Government’s bid to send asylum seekers to the African country.

However, the policy faces a number of legal and political challenges before it can be implemented.

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