Aerial footage of migrant rescue released

Italy’s Finance Police release aerial video showing migrants being rescued from a packed boat adrift at sea.

AT SEA (MAY 4, 2015) (GUARDIA DI FINANZA)- Italy’s Finance Police handed out fresh aerial video on Tuesday (May 5) showing more overcrowded migrant boats being spotted and rescued off the coasts of Libya.

The video, shot on May 4, shows a wooden boat packed with migrants at sea, sighted by a Finance Police helicopter at around 1300 GMT.

It goes on to show police vessels making contact with the migrants and transferring them to safety onto a large police boat, about three hours later.

This is just one of many similar rescues that took place in the Mediterranean as around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend.

Italy has coordinated the rescues by its own navy and coast guard, a French ship acting on behalf of the European border control agency, merchant ships of various nationalities and MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station).

About 1,800 are estimated to have perished during the crossing already this year, the UN refugee agency said.

On Tuesday (May 5) Save the Children said 40 people had died on their way to Sicily when their rubber boats exploded or burst in the heat of the sun. Some 194 of them survived the journey from Ghana, Mali, Gambia, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Some 51,000 have entered Europe by sea, with 30,500 coming via Italy.

Shocked by last month’s record disaster, European Union leaders agreed to triple funding for the EU sea patrol mission Triton, but there is still disagreement on what to do with the people fleeing conflict and poverty in various parts of Africa and the Middle East.