Desperate Crossings • Paolo Pellegrin • Magnum Photos

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Desperate Crossings

On a commission for 'The New York Times Magazine', Paolo Pellegrin documents the migrants traveling across the Mediterranean from war-torn Libya in the hope of a better life in Europe

Paolo Pellegrin

Paolo Pellegrin 'The New York Times Magazine'. Front cover. September 6, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

In late July 2015, Paolo Pellegrin was commissioned by the New York Times Magazine to capture images of the migrants fleeing Libya for Europe.

Pellegrin boarded an MSF (Doctors Without Borders) ship tasked with intercepting these migrant-packed vessels.

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants aboard a boat. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants in their boat as they are about to be rescued by MSF. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin An injured man is about to be placed on a stretcher. Off the Libya coast. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

Eritrean migrants, who were rescued at sea by this ship, the Bourbon Argos, were offloaded and then transported to Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

The Bourbon Argos was patrolling the waters off of Libya when it encountered two wooden boats carrying a total of nearly 700 migrants, according to MSF.

 

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants, who were rescued at sea by a ship hired by MSF. July, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

The migrants reported that a third boat left Libya with them, but it could not be located by MSF. It was reported to have been rescued the following day by an Irish ship, but with casualties.

Paolo Pellegrin The sea at night near the Libyan coast. Mediterrain Sea . 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin The New York Times Magazine. September 6, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos