A catamaran carrying some 500 passengers, mostly Americans, sailed into Grand Harbour this evening after a rough eight-hour journey from Tripoli.
The passengers boarded the Virtu Ferries vessel on Wednesday, but they still spent another two tension-filled days in Tripoli since heavy seas meant the catamaran could not sail.
The catamaran finally cast off at 1 p.m.today.
Picture: Ramon Curmi.
The passengers were visibly tired as they disembarked at the Cruise Passenger Terminal but most were in good health and only a small number were given medical attention by medical teams on the quay. Officials from the Civil Protection Department were also present.
All passengers were offered food and drink as soon as they disembarked. Special attention was also given to children.
Veterinary Officials were also present since a number of pets were brought over by some of the families.
The Maria Dolores was chartered by the State Department, which has since announced that the US embassy in Tripoli has suspended operations.
A second catamaran, the San Gwann, arrived a short while afterwards.
Four Maltese arrived on the catamarans.
The two catamarans will be leaving Malta for Tripoli again at midnight to evacuate more workers.
Click to view image: '95f141815a3f-20110225205600santamarija.jpg'
Tags: Malta, Libya, Fighter Jets, MIA, catamaran, US, Tripoli, departure, weather, airport, asylum, AFM, swiss airforce, c-130, worried, ministers, avacuation, virtu ferries
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