A video published Tuesday shows a cargo ship's dramatic rescue of a sinking boat full of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday.
The footage, which was recorded by a crew member of the cargo ship Zeran and released by The Associated Press, lends a human face to the startling statistics of smuggling -- more than 1,700 have died making the Mediterranean journey so far this year. It shows panicked people aboard the small, overloaded craft grasping for anything that can help them to safety.
"There was the big ship there and they threw down ropes," Astoy Fall Dia, a 24-year-old migrant from Senegal, told the AP, recalling the rescue. "Someone grabbed onto the rope. All the other people started pushing to try to save themselves but the people started falling in the water."
While most people aboard the inflatable dingy were rescued and safely transported to the Italian port of Catania, not all were so lucky.
"At least five people drowned, more are missing," said Alpha Sisse, a 17-year-old from Ivory Coast who was in a second boat rescued by the Zeran. "They say maybe 20 people died."
The incident is just the latest in a long string of migrant tragedies. In April, more than 800 migrants from a single sinking ship were believed to have drowned, which one spokesman said made it the "deadliest incident in the Mediterranean that we have recorded."