MOAS crews use a smaller boat to rescue migrants before bringing them on board the Topaz Responder.
Aboard the Topaz Responder CNN  — 

I’m aboard a boat run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station that rescues migrants in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

They are people from all over Africa, the Middle East and even far-away nations like Bangladesh. They hope to escape conflict or persecution in their homelands and make better lives for themselves in Europe.

But many travel in inflatable rubber crafts or rickety wooden boats that are overcrowded and not equipped to make the long journey from North Africa across the vast sea. This year alone, nearly 3,000 never made it to Europe; they perished in deep waters.

I’ve been speaking with the rescue and medical teams aboard the Topaz Responder and with the 366 migrants they plucked out of the sea on July 6. I’ll be writing about them in the coming weeks; meantime, here are some of my Instagram posts. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.