The reconnaissance aircraft Seabird filmed the sinking of a migrant boat off the coast of Libya on August 27. The harrowing footage shows people trying to cling for their lives to the keel of an overturned boat.
The German NGO Sea-Watch posted images of the sinking of a boat, which had been filled with migrants, off the coast of Libya on August 27. The images showed migrants, in great difficulty, holding on to the hull of their overturned boat.
The images show migrants visibly desperate as they waited for help. The videos were shot by the Seabird, the Sea-Watch's reconnaissance plane.
It is possible to make out a voice on board alerting the authorities. "Emergency call. The boat has overturned. There are about 20 people on the keel of the boat. There is no engine. The survivors have no way to move."
In the water, other migrants are visibly trying to hang on to the boat as best they can. At that time, 11 people had been able to get on the keel, while 5 others were trying to cling to it, says the NGO.
Two hours later, a Libyan coastguard patrol boat approached the boat in distress. Some of the people who had fallen into the water could not be rescued.
"In the end, we know that about 35 people were intercepted and that, according to the survivors of the so-called Libyan coast guard, at least 5 are still missing," the NGO wrote the next day on Twitter.
About 30 people were brought to shore.
Departures from Libya attempting to reach Italy have increased sharply in recent months. The number of migrants who have died at sea while trying to reach Europe has more than doubled this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in mid-July. Nearly 1,300 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year.