Mediterranean Sea. Off the Libyan coast. 2016. Mediterranean Migration. Two men panic and struggle in the water during their rescue. Their rubber boat was in distress and deflating quickly on one side, tipping many migrants in the water. They were quickly reached by rescue swimmers and brought to safety.
The central Mediterranean migration route, between the coasts of Libya and Italy, remains busy. According to reports by the UNHCR, 5,000 people died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2016. NGOs and charities such as Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) continue their efforts to patrol the patch of sea north of the Libyan coast, in the hope of rescuing refugees before the potential of drowning. The rescue team on board the MOAS’ Responder are there to mitigate loss of life at sea. Operating like a sea-born ambulance, they rush to assist and rescue refugee vessels in distress, provide medical assistance, and bring the refugees safely to Italy.
Spot News, Third Prize, Stories at the World Press Photo Contest.
Photograph: Mathieu Willcocks