Global Independent Analytics

Five migrants drown after boat capsizes off Libya coast

"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"

The Independent reporting: Five people have died with hundreds being rescued after a wooden fishing boat carrying migrants from Lybia capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

The boat was overloaded with at least 550 people, including women and children, when it sank. Luckily for them, the Italian Navy swimmers were there to save almost all of them according to a press report by the Italian officials, Wednesday.

The following photographs show the moment when the boat started to capsize and people in panic were struggling to climb onto the hull of the overturning vessel while others jumped in hopes of swimming to safety.

"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," the Navy said in a statement.  

Due to the relatively calm seas and warmer weather the number of illegal smuggling operations rose sharply. Italy's coastguard report 5,600 migrants being rescued on Monday and Tuesday, and officials fear numbers will increase as weather conditions continue to improve.

In the past two years, more than 320,000 boat migrants have arrived on Italian shores and an estimated 7,000 died in the Mediterranean as they sought to reach Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Additional reporting by Reuters 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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