Heartbreaking sea scenes of drowning migrants from capsized ship after 1,000 die in THREE tragedies in just 24 hours - CVIEW NEWS

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Heartbreaking sea scenes of drowning migrants from capsized ship after 1,000 die in THREE tragedies in just 24 hours



Anguish etched on her face and held safe by the bare-chested man who has dragged her from the sea, she seems unable to comprehend what has happened to her.
Around her are scenes of chaos as dozens of men battle to drag other survivors from the treacherous waves. But not all are so lucky. A short distance away, a tiny corpse is carried to land, his woolly hat dripping salt water.
These are the harrowing scenes on the shores of Europe today as up to 1,000 migrants are feared dead after three separate disasters.
On the Greek island of Rhodes, the unknown child is one of three to have died when the boat carrying him ran aground. The woman is one of hundreds of survivors now seeking refuge after narrowly avoiding drowning.
Elsewhere more than 900 mainly African migrants are believed to have perished when a 75 foot fishing boat capsized off Libya in one of the worst maritime tragedies since the Second World War.
Survivors claimed up to 300 people including women and children ‘drowned like rats in cages’ after being locked in the hold by callous traffickers. In a frantic fight for life, they clung to their dead bodies to stay afloat.
Another two boats are thought to be in danger off the coast of Libya with Maltese and Italian coastguards tending to them. Twenty are already feared dead aboard one of the vessels, both of which are carrying more than 100 people.
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Three people died after a boat carrying dozens of migrants ran aground on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes. Beach-goers were among the first to come to survivors' rescue as emergency services off the coast of Libya continued to survey the horror of an earlier disaster
Three people died after a boat carrying dozens of migrants ran aground on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes. Beach-goers were among the first to come to survivors’ rescue as emergency services off the coast of Libya continued to survey the horror of an earlier disaster
Horrendous sight: A man carries the body of a dead child onto the Greek island of Rhodes after a wooden sailing boat carrying dozens of people ran aground, killing at least three people in one of a number of tragedies involving migrant vessels over the last two days
Horrendous sight: A man carries the body of a dead child onto the Greek island of Rhodes after a wooden sailing boat carrying dozens of people ran aground, killing at least three people in one of a number of tragedies involving migrant vessels over the last two days
Harrowing: Video footage shows a large, wooden double-masted boat with people packed on board, just metres away from the Greek island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Around 1,000 people are thought to have died in several migrant boat disasters in just 24 hours
Harrowing: Video footage shows a large, wooden double-masted boat with people packed on board, just metres away from the Greek island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Around 1,000 people are thought to have died in several migrant boat disasters in just 24 hours
In Libya, Italian coastguards continue to survey the horror of a capsized boat carrying an estimated 950 migrants. Around 300 people were locked in its hull when it capsized, said witnesses, in one what has been described as the worst maritime disaster for decades
In Libya, Italian coastguards continue to survey the horror of a capsized boat carrying an estimated 950 migrants. Around 300 people were locked in its hull when it capsized, said witnesses, in one what has been described as the worst maritime disaster for decades
On dry land: A woman appears to collapse with exhaustion in her rescuers arms after being plucked from the Mediterranean Sea in Rhodes 
On dry land: A woman appears to collapse with exhaustion in her rescuers arms after being plucked from the Mediterranean Sea in Rhodes
Rescue: The vessel capsized after hitting rocks off the coast, causing dozens of desperate migrants to fall in to the choppy waters with Greeks and holidaymakers watching on in horror 
Rescue: The vessel capsized after hitting rocks off the coast, causing dozens of desperate migrants to fall in to the choppy waters with Greeks and holidaymakers watching on in horror
Three people were killed in the accident in Greece this morning. Their deaths are among hundreds feared over the past 24 hours 
Three people were killed in the accident in Greece this morning. Their deaths are among hundreds feared over the past 24 hours
In the wake of the disasters, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called for the European Union to resume rescue operations and address the chaos in Libya which allows smugglers – who charge migrants thousands of pounds for the passage to Europe – to operate with impunity.
The north African country is riven by a bitter civil war where two rival governments are fighting for control. This has been compounded by the growth of Islamic State within Libya, which earlier this year threatened to send a wave of 500,000 migrants towards Europe’s shores.
Mr Muscat said: ‘We have what is fast becoming a failed state on our doorsteps and criminal gangs are enjoying a heyday.’
He estimated the criminal gang behind the doomed voyage would have made between 1million and 5million euros.
He said the United Nations should mandate a force to intervene directly in Libya to disrupt or attack traffickers and stop the boats from setting off.
‘A time will come when Europe will be judged harshly for its inaction as it was judged when it had turned a blind eye to genocide,’ said Muscat, who is in Rome on Monday to meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
‘I believe that the (European) focus should be what should be done in Libya to stop the boats. Unless something is done about Libya, these scenes will be repeating themselves.’

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