“This morning our crew on board the Phoenix reported that they were engaged in the rescue of a large wooden boat carrying several hundreds of people” said a spokesperson for Maltese NGO, Migrant Offshore Station (MOAS).
“In a terrible series of events, hundreds of people ended up in the water, whilst assets scrambled to save as many lives as possible. While the Phoenix managed to rescue 600+ children, women and men, our crew has also recovered 31 bodies in the process, including those of a few toddlers.”
“Not a scene from a horror movie… Real life tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep today!,” said Chris Catrambone,
MOAS co-founder, who was aboard the Phoenix and published photos showing white body bags lined up on the deck.
“Rescuers are frantically trying to break open the locked hold on a wooden boat where hundreds of migrants are trapped!” he tweeted.
“Current body count at 31,” Catrambone said, adding many who fell overboard had been “small toddlers”.