The floating black hole: Astonishing images show more than 1,000 migrants

Including 200 children, squeezed onto two levels of rescued boat in Mediterranean from Libya

  • Rickety wooden vessel so overcrowded migrants were sitting on top of each other, with more crammed below deck 
  • Refugees were fleeing war-torn Syria and Eritrea when they were rescued by Italian navy 30 miles off Libyan coast
  • More than 5,000 migrants have been saved from boats cut adrift in the Mediterranean in the last few days alone

By Rosie Taylor and Simon Tomlinson for MailOnline

Packed like sardines into a rickety wooden boat, this is the moment Italian sailors found 1,000 migrants desperately trying to flee war-torn Libya.

An Italian navy ship rescued more than 200 children from the boat which was so overcrowded migrants were sitting on each other on the top deck, with more crammed into the deck below.

The refugees, who were fleeing Libya and Eritrea, were found 30 miles off the Libyan coast. There were so many of them, they filled the flight deck of the naval ship Spica, despite the boat they had travelled in being a fraction of its size. The Spica will take the migrants to Sicily for processing.

Relief: Migrants wait to be brought onto the Italian naval ship Spica after being packed onto a dangerously overcrowded boat from Libya

More than 1,000 migrants are packed onto a rickety wooden boat that was cut adrift in the Mediterranean as they desperately tried to flee Libya

More than 1,000 migrants are packed onto a rickety wooden boat that was cut adrift in the Mediterranean as they desperately tried to flee Libya

Dangerous: The migrants were found sitting virtually on top of one another on the upper deck, while even more were crammed in below using this tiny hatch 

Dangerous: The migrants were found sitting virtually on top of one another on the upper deck, while even more were crammed in below using this tiny hatch

The ship Spica Italian Navy, with a crew of only 60 men, rescued over 1,000 migrants in international waters 30 miles off Libya

The ship Spica Italian Navy, with a crew of only 60 men, rescued over 1,000 migrants in international waters 30 miles off Libya

Perilous: The vessel was so overcrowded the migrants were sat on each other on the top deck, with more crammed into the level below

Entombed: Migrants emerge from below deck where hundreds more refugees were packed like sardines into the wooden boat

Entombed: Migrants emerge from below deck where hundreds more refugees were packed like sardines into the wooden boat

More than 5,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been saved from boats in distress in the Mediterranean between May 29 and June 2

More than 5,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been saved from boats in distress in the Mediterranean between May 29 and June 2

Spica is one of several Italian naval vessels that has been involved in the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean in recent weeks.

Between May 29 and June 2, more than 5,000 people were saved from boats adrift in the sea as they tried to make their way to Europe.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl

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