Commander Francesco Iavazzo, the captain of the Italian navy boat that rescued 562 migrants in the Mediterranean describes to BBC News how he tried to prevent it from capsizing.
Commander Iavazzo says: “It was evident that it was overcrowded and unstable. We started of course from children and women.
“The sad part is that, although I tried to keep people calm shouting to them and saying: ‘Please sit down, do not stand, do not walk because the boat isn’t stable’, But fear is fear so people were not listening.
“The boat was already taking in water so the stability was even worse. So what we could do was just to make our transfer as fast as possible. But at a certain point it capsized.
“All I did was to take my ship as close as possible to the wreck and order my crew to throw into the water everything that was floating to give people something to hold on.
“We’ve rescued five bodies. They are now on our ship but we cannot exclude that there were some more people inside the ship because simply we haven’t seen them.
“I must say that personally I’ve never found myself in a situation of this magnitude. When something like that happens, it touches you deep inside.
“You would like to save everybody, you’d like to magically push them out of the water at once and you crash with the reality.
“But we are aware that we did all that was possible to be done. And it’s nice to see at least the children safe on my sheep.”
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