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.

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