A Nigerian 9-month-pregnant woman is evacuated by a Maltese Armed Forces helicopter from aboard the Ocean Viking in Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. A humanitarian rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea has appealed to Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a 9 months pregnant woman and a safe place to disembark 83 other migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)

ABOARD THE OCEAN VIKING (AP) — Malta's armed forces airlifted a 9 months pregnant Nigerian woman and her husband Wednesday from a charity-run ship carrying more than 80 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

A helicopter winched the couple off the Ocean Viking, a sea rescue ship operated by nonprofit groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, after the vessel requested a medical evacuation earlier in the day.

A midwife and a medical team examined the pregnant woman on the Ocean Viking and determined she had "developed a serious medical complication which could put her and the baby at risk," Doctors Without Borders Project Coordinator Erkinalp Kesikli said.

The Norwegian-flagged ship also appealed to Malta and Italy for a safe place of disembarkation for the 82 other migrants on board, but did not receive an immediate reply Wednesday.

Italy's previous government closed its ports to humanitarian rescue ships. It is not yet clear if the government that took office last week will continue the policy.

The crew on the Ocean Viking found 50 of the migrants in a rubber boat Sunday, including the woman due to give birth at any time. The ship took on another 34 migrants Monday from a sailboat operated by another humanitarian group.

The Ocean Viking received instructions Tuesday to bring the migrants to the port in Zawiyah, Libya. The crew refused, saying Libya is not a safe place to disembark.

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In this photo taken on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a pregnant woman undergoes ultrasound aboard a humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A humanitarian rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea has appealed to Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a safe place of disembarkation for the 83 other migrants on board. The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, rescued 50 migrants from a rubber boat on Sunday, including the woman who is 9 months pregnant. (Hannah Wallace Bowman/MSF via AP)
A Nigerian 9-month-pregnant woman is evacuated by a Maltese Armed Forces helicopter from aboard the Ocean Viking in Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. A humanitarian rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea has appealed to Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a 9 months pregnant woman and a safe place to disembark 83 other migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
In this photo taken on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a pregnant woman undergoes ultrasound aboard a humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A humanitarian rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea has appealed to Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a safe place of disembarkation for the 83 other migrants on board. The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, rescued 50 migrants from a rubber boat on Sunday, including the woman who is 9 months pregnant. (Hannah Wallace Bowman/MSF via AP)
One-year-old baby Mascuud of Somalia stares at a couple from Cameroon aboard the Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. The humanitarian rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, has requested Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a place of safety for the other 83 rescued migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
One-year-old baby Mascuud of Somalia looks at the camera aboard the Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. The humanitarian rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, has requested Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a place of safety for the other 83 rescued migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Men wash their hands aboard the Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. The humanitarian rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, has requested Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a place of safety for the other 83 rescued migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
In this photo taken on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, rescued men look out the window from inside a shelter aboard the Ocean Viking ship in the Mediterranean Sea. The humanitarian rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, has requested Italian and Maltese authorities for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman and a place of safety for the other 83 rescued migrants. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)