At least seven dead after migrant boat capsizes off Libyan coast

By Andrea Vogt

This is the dramatic moment an overcrowded fishing boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized off the Libyan coast.

People jump out of a boat right before it overturns off the Libyan coast. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo
People jump out of a boat right before it overturns off the Libyan coast. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo

At least five people drowned and 550 were rescued by the Italian coastguard. after the overcrowded fishing boat they were traveling in capsized off the Libyan coast.

A dramatic series of photos taken by Italian Navy while en route to the rescue shows the people on board frantically trying to save themselves as the crammed wooden vessel tilts into the sea.

The dramatic series of photos were taken by the Italian Navy. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo
The dramatic series of photos were taken by the Italian Navy. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo

The accident happened after the Navy ship Bettica spotted the rickety vessel in "precarious conditions" while on routine patrols in the southern Mediterranean.

"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.

The Italian navy says it has recovered 7 bodies from the overturned migrant ship. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo
The Italian navy says it has recovered 7 bodies from the overturned migrant ship. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo

A larger Italian frigate in the area sent a helicopter and several smaller vessels to aid in the dramatic rescue. The navy warned the death toll could rise, as the rescue was ongoing.

An Italian Navy helicopter flies over the overturned boat. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo
An Italian Navy helicopter flies over the overturned boat. Photo / Marina Militare via AP Photo

More than 6,000 people have been rescued from the Mediterranean this week, bringing the number of people rescued and brought to Italy since the start of 2016 to nearly 40,000.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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