About 600 migrants were rescued from a listing fishing boat off Libya, in a delicate operation captured by Times of Malta photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi.

The boat was close to capsizing when the Migrant Offshore Aid Station's Phoenix and the Medecins Sans Frontiers ship Bourbon intervened.

Mr Zammit Lupi, who is currently embedded with MOAS, captured the mid-sea transfer as well as the disembarkation of the migrants. They are being taken to Italy on board a Norwegian vessel.

In a tweet, the Malta-based MOAS said it had completed its most dangerous and complex rescue to date.

The rescue took place a day after a boat with some 600 migrants capsized off Libya. Around 200 are missing, believed dead. The survivors were taken aboard the Irish vessel Le Naimh to Palermo, Sicily.

La Sicilia said that on arrival in Palermo, flower-topped coffins containing the bodies of the 25 recovered dead were loaded into black funeral vans. Save the Children said three of those who died were “very young” children.

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Video: Darrin Zammit Lupi