Clockwise from top left- migrant vessel seen through telescope, rescuers reach migrants, migrant child brought aboard rescue ship, ambulance arrives to transport migrants
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BBC films rescue of migrants at sea by Italian navy

21 June 2014 Last updated at 11:32 BST

The BBC's Matthew Price has been on board the Bergamini, part of the Italian navy's Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) operation, which patrols the seas in the search for migrant boats.

The frigate is under orders to save lives - whether boats are in trouble or not, they will try to intercept them and pick up the passengers.

This video, filmed on a phone, shows what happened when the vessel located a migrant boat with 270 people on board and follows the operation as it returns to Italy.

Read more: Inside Europe Blog