Desperate Migrants Risk Everything in Deadly Mediterranean Crossings

Getty Images photographer Chris McGrath recently spent about two weeks with crew members aboard the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) Phoenix vessel as they patrolled the Mediterranean between Italy and Libya. During several missions, the crew rescued hundreds of migrants, some from capsized vessels—and recovered dozens of bodies from the sea. The United Nations estimates that more than 65,000 migrants have arrived in Europe this year so far from Africa and the Middle East,  about one-third as many as arrived in 2016 by the same date. The large part of that decrease is due to tighter restrictions nearly cutting off migrants entering through Greece. As migrants move to other, more dangerous routes, the death toll has climbed to more than 1,500 so far this year—more than 2016, despite the significant decrease in overall numbers.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 6/17–6/23

    A heatwave in Europe, floating solar farms in China, the America’s Cup in Bermuda, the Royal Highland Show in Scotland, and much more

  • Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From Hong Kong, 'Pearl of the Orient'

    Images of the vertical cityscape, street scenes, monuments, people, and natural landscapes of Hong Kong.

  • Library of Congress

    Go Fly a Kite

    In recognition of the warmer weather in the northern hemisphere, this is an invitation to take some time, go outside, and set a kite aloft.

  • Patricia De Melo Moreira / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Deadly Wildfires in Portugal

    Over the weekend, wildfires in central Portugal killed at least 63 people and injured 135 others.

Join the Discussion