Merchants rescue Med refugees

Commercial vessels are saving migrants as they try to cross the Mediterranean. One story shows how risky that is.

In Mediterranean, commercial ships scoop up desperate human cargo

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON – In October last year, bulk carrier CS Caprice was shipping a cargo of barley across the Mediterranean when it answered a call to help about 500 people who were drifting north of Libya without a skipper. A brewing storm threatened to capsize their tiny fishing boat.

“They had no food or water and they had been three days at sea,” said the ship’s captain, Joshua Bhatt. “When they showed small infants to us, it was a really pathetic sight … They were asking, ‘can you take us to Italy?’”

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