migrants have been rescued in the Med in what is fast turning in to be
one of the busiest weeks for patrol crews.
Their last moments were spent gasping for air inside a wretched ship
which was meant to take them to safety. Instead it delivered a horrible
death. Rescuers came too late to save the desperate migrants seen in
these pictures, but they were able to help hundreds of others.
The boat had been carrying around 1,800 people when it was sighted in the Mediterranean 12 miles off the coast of Libya.
Some resorted to jumping overboard while one drowning father tried to
fling his baby to safety. Staff from Proactiva Open Arms NGO pulled the
living onboard their own boats but for some, it was too late.
Inside the vessel, they found a number of bodies huddled together amid discarded shoes, clothes and blankets.
As the the light dwindled and the rescue went into the night, some were
brought out of the wooden boat on stretchers – watched by dozens of
other migrants huddled together as they waited for their relief vessel
They were among the 4,650 migrant saved in more than 30 rescue missions off the Libyan coast yesterday.
This brings the total rescued in the last 48 hours to more than 10,000
refugees, and the death toll to 50 as people smugglers take advantage of
relatively calm weather to push boats to sea.
The vast majority come from Africa, including Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Gambia, Sudan, Ivory Coast and Somalia.