For three days and three nights, these African migrants clung desperately on to life. Starving and exhausted, they were forced to grasp on to a passing tuna net after their own craft had sunk.
The shocking image underlines the scale of the world’s migration problem.
The Maltese tug boat trailing the net had refused to take them onboard.
The 27 men, whose craft sank off the Libyan coast, were towed across the Mediterranean to Malta, hanging on to an 18in walkway round the top of the net and surviving on virtually no food or drink.
Displaying a breathtaking callousness, the captain then refused to take them to land and they were eventually rescued by the Italian Navy.