More than 2,000 migrants have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea already in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration. As the Mediterranean migrant crisis continues in the face of apparent government inaction, a private organization has stepped in to help.
Founded by American millionaire Christopher Catrambone and his Italian wife Regina Catrambone, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) aims to provide search and rescue assistance to the thousands of people fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.
VICE News went to meet the team behind MOAS before it launched its operation from Malta.
VICE News is closely watching the international migrant crisis. Check out the Open Water blog here