Refugee crisis: Video shows the moment boat carrying asylum seekers capsizes in Mediterranean

At least five people have died and hundreds rescued

Ryan Ramgobin
Thursday 26 May 2016 11:30 BST
Migrant boat capsizes

Video has emerged showing a wooden fishing boat carrying refugees capsizing off the coast of Libya.

The footage shows the boat rocking precariously before capsizing and sending hundreds into the sea. Passengers can be seen climbing onto the hull of the overturned vessel, while others swam for safety to life boats or towards a rescue navy ship.

Save the Children have announced five people died and 650 people were rescued in Wednesday's incident.

"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 Italian Navy said in a statement.

Boat arrivals rose sharply this week due to warmer weather and calm seas. Italy's coastguard said 5,600 migrants were rescued on Monday and Tuesday, and officials fear numbers will increase as weather conditions 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 ternational Organization for Migration.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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