Images released by the Italian navy show the moment an overcrowded vessel capsized off Libya’s coast, leaving at least five people dead.
The blue boat tipped over after refugees on board rushed together to one side on spotting a rescue ship coming towards them – a common mistake that has been causing similar accidents at sea.
The Italian navy managed to save around 562 people.
“Shortly afterwards the boat overturned due to overcrowding. The Bettica, which had arrived nearby, threw life-rafts and jackets to the migrants in the water," they said in a statement.
Due to calm weather, more people are embarking on the perilous journey to Europe’s shore via the Mediterranean Sea. On May 23 and 24, about 5,600 migrants were rescued by Italian authorities. The numbers are expected to rise.
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Thousands of refugees from the Middle East have been escaping atrocities by dictators and terrorists over the past couple of years by risking their lives on dilapidated vessels.
“Over the past four years, IOM reports, 1.4 million migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean via three principle routes linking Europe to North Africa and Turkey. During that same period, deaths recorded at sea are over 8,100,” states the International Organization for Migration. “Nearly one thousand migrants or refugees are believed to have perished on the Eastern Mediterranean route. Hundreds more have drowned attempting the crossing to Europe via Spanish waters.”
Since the conditions in their countries remain the same, people are continuously putting their lives in danger at sea.