Saved! With Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the Mediterranean sea

In the Mediterranean Sea, 40 days aboard the Argos, a search and rescue boat chartered by MSF (Doctors Without Borders), helping those who risk their lives in a desperate attempt to reach Europe. After a decade of steady climbing, the flow of migrants to Europe has now reached a point of no return. Over 300,000 people have attempted the crossing this year and about 2,500 people died. The Mediterranean is by far the deadliest crossing point in the world. Crossing the sea to escape from poverty in sub-Saharan Africa or war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. On these boats of death, no life jacket and very few people can swim. Those so-called migrants leave the Libyan coast in the middle of the night, in total darkness, allowing smugglers to pack the boats. At night migrants, who are not able to see how many are aboard, will panic. They give them a few bottles of water and biscuits. Most of them have no idea of the distance between Libya and Sicily. Sometimes the smugglers tell them they will reach the Italian island in 6 to 8 hours. In reality, it would take them at least six days to cross on such craft. Needless to say that the chance to arrive in Sicily is almost zero, many would die of dehydration, choking, fatigue.
But for these people, the nightmare often begins well before the crossing. Libya which was once a paradise for day laborers, is now in total chaos. Wages are not paid and migrants are increasingly victims of tribal militias wars and criminal gangs. Rape, torture, kidnappings for ransom have become common in this country. The Mediterranean Sea becomes then the only alternative, at often high levels of personal risk.

Selected "coup de coueur" at Visa Pour L'Image Perpignan 2015.