In 2015 the ever-increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean on unseaworthy vessels towards Europe led to an unprecedented crisis. Nearly 120 thousand people reached Italy in the first eight months of the year. As European governments have struggled to deal with the influx the death toll in the Mediterranean hit record numbers.
Early in May the international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières (M.S.F.) joined in the Mediterranean search and rescue operations launching three ships at different stages: the Phoenix (run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station), the Bourbon Argos and Dignity.
Francesco Zizola was on board of the Bourbon Argos in August and September 2015, documenting the rescue of over three thousand migrants.