By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 24 May 2017:
At least 34 migrants, many who were toddlers, died today 30 miles off the Libyan coast as a Spanish military plane frantically dropped life rafts in an attempt to save more than 200 people struggling in the water.
The boat that sank was carrying around 500 migrants. Another 1,700 people were reported to have been in flimsy craft in the same area.
Chris Catrambone, who founded the Migrant Offshore Aid Station three years ago, tweeted pictures of scores of migrants adrift in the water.
“Not a scene from a horror movie… Real life tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep today,” he said adding “Rescuers are frantically trying to break open the locked hold on a wooden boat where hundreds of migrants are trapped.”
One video he posted appeared to show rescuers lowering the lifeless body of a child onto a deck.
The International Organisation for Migration say nearly 1,400 migrants have died at sea this year with another 50,000 rescued.