Mediterranean migrant crisis. Italian Navy releases dramatic photos of rescue operation
European Navy vessels rescue migrants on a daily basis in the Mediterranean Sea; Op Sophia mission alone has rescued over 13,000 people so far.
However, pictures released by the Italian Navy on May 25 show just how out of the ordinary a rescue operation can become.
In the morning hours of May 25, Italian Navy patrol ship Bettica saved 562 people. According to the Navy, the overcrowded boat tipped over as the Italian ship approached it to pick up the migrants.
Passengers aboard the blue boat all rushed on one side to see the patrol vessel that was approaching them and that caused the boat to overturn, the Navy explained.
At least five migrants died in the incident.
The International Organization for Migration reports that an estimated 191,134 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 21 May, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
The number of people who died on their way to Europe reached 1,370 through May 21, which is 24 percent lower than last year’s total of 1,792 through the same period.