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Rescuing migrants from Mediterranean Sea


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Risking everything to make it to Europe, thousands of migrants tackle this perilous journey from Libya to Italy each week. Onboard the Responder, we watch the crew whose mission is to save lives at sea. Day and night, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station rescued rubber boat-loads of men, women and children, brought them onto the main deck where they were body-searched and sat in rows one after the other.


Dusk, 347 migrants in total, given a medical check, food and water, helped by members of the Red Cross. Golden foil blankets providing a little warmth as the ship heads north - towards mainland Italy. Most coming from sub-Saharan Africa; fleeing poverty and violence; traveling through the desert to Libya and paying people smugglers to help them cross the Mediterranean.


Many migrants were floating at sea for up to 16 hours, some even losing loved ones, drowned in the waves just hours earlier. Exhausted and helpless, they don't care where they are going. They say anywhere is better than what they have left behind.


After two days at sea, the Responder arrives at dry land, docking in the port of Brindisi, southern Italy. The migrants disembark, handed over to the Italian authorities and registered in reception centers, many with just the clothes on their back.


The EU is determined to get tough on illegal migrants making this journey. Anyone whose life is not immediately in danger is to be sent back. These migrants have made it to Europe, but for many, their journey is not over yet.


Credit: Juris Abramenko


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