Sea-Watch 3 rescue ship is pictured as it remains blocked one mile outside the port of Lampedusa, Italy [Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters]

Dozens of stranded people on board a rescue ship that is prevented by Italy from docking on its shores are getting increasingly “frustrated”, the vessel’s captain has said, warning of an “incredibly tense” situation.

The Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3, operated by German charity Sea-Watch, has been at sea for more than two weeks. On Wednesday, it defied Rome’s orders not to enter Italian territorial waters, but is being refused entry at the port of Lampedusa island amid a new standoff between Italy and the charity.

“At the moment the situation is incredibly tense, getting worse and worse,” Carola Rackete, captain of the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3, told journalists in

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