More than 1,000 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea in an operation lasting over three hours after their boat capsized off the Libyan coast.This morning, a rescue vessel operated by MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) was radioed by the Italian Coast Guard just after 5am. Over the following three hours, more than 1,000 people were rescued – including three babies – in an operation that involved numerous charities and the Italian Coast Guard.
MOAS Onboard Operations Officer Marco Cauchi said: “Today it was intense for the fact the rubber boats were jam-packed… they put as many people as they can… they put in 160 people it was incredible. These boats are built to only take 100 people. It was dangerously loaded. People were jumping out, fumes were coming up, people were fainting, so it was horrible.”
As the rescuer ship moved closer to the dinghy, the migrants panicked and the boat, filled only with air and completely inappropriate for the open seas, partially capsized. At least 20 people fell into the water and were rescued by the team.
The rescue boat spotted a number of dead bodies drifting on the open sea, which were retrieved by the crew.