A HEARTBREAKING photograph of a drowned migrant baby in the arms of a charity worker goes viral.

WARNING: Graphic and distressing image

The baby, who appears to be no more than a year old, was pulled from the sea off the coast of Italy on Friday after a wooden boat capsized reports Reuters.

German rescue organisation Sea-Watch, operating a rescue boat in the sea between Libya and Italy, released the picture taken by a media production company on board, in a bid to convince European authorities to ensure the safe passage of migrants.

In an email, the rescuer, who gave his name as Martin, said he had spotted the baby in the water “like a doll, arms outstretched”.

He said: “I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive … It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes.”

The rescuer, a father of three and by profession a music therapist, added: “I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive.”

More than 7,000 people have died in the Mediterranean since the start of 2014.

Sea-Watch collected around 25 other bodies, including another child, according to claims from the crew seen by Reuters. The Sea-Watch team said it unanimously decided to publish the photo.

They said: “In the wake of the disastrous events it becomes obvious to the organisations on the ground that the calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service.

“If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them.”

No words. Shattering!

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  • Aw, how terribly sad ! I hope and pray this will move the hearts from our government and leaders to help and give shelter to those who have to flee their countries. This world is our world !


  • it brings light to a very human issue that is often examined in a harsh light where the humans are ignored.


  • I cried reading this article. When will governments listen that parents do not put their children in wooden boats unless there is something worse they are trying to leave.


  • Poor little one! Too many people die trying to escape from a terrible life! :-(


  • sometimes a picture shows more words than saying a word verbally. we all need to see this even though its not nice at all as it hits us emotionally. god bless the baby and the rest.


  • This is too much to even look at. Just heartbreaking. No words :'(


  • This picture is heartbreaking! Let’s hope change is made to prevent this from happening again


  • So many lives are being lost senselessly. My heart breaks for all those who are suffering.


  • This really puts it it on perspective! Poor baby. May they all rest in peace.


  • Just heartbreaking. My heart hurts for this little baby xx
    RIP Little one


  • Simple devastating, shattered my heart :(


  • It us mind blowing that these people get on those boats with small children. They’re risking their children’s lives and often the price paid is in human lives


  • Absolutely heart wrenching. I really feel for these families, what horrors must they be trying to escape from to take such huge risks.
    Bless this man for treating the baby with dignity and respect, and showing such love.


  • It’s particularly difficult when it’s a child.


  • Truely heart wrenching. No words can truely sum up this and many more tragedies that have been the outcome of people trying to find asylum. It makes you wonder how bad they have it to take such risks.


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