Growing Refugee Crisis

ABC's Molly Hunter gets a first-hand look at the refugee crisis off the coast of Libya where the European Union is trying to save lives and catch smugglers.
2:50 | 08/02/16

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Transcript for Growing Refugee Crisis
Overseas nets you a very different kind of water rescue over the weekend more than a thousand people were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea with hundreds of Baz and still risking everything. To flee North Africa. ABC's Molly hunter is off the coast of Libya with the European Union's ongoing operation to save lives and catch lawbreakers. This is the front line in the fight against smugglers and human traffickers. A multi billion dollar industry fueling the refugee crisis. And fifth is operations Sophia. Europe's Mediterranean response to those bodies washing ashore 120. On Libya's beaches just last month. Here on the flagship V I PS you're above its fleet lurks on the border between Libyan national waters and international water. Its mandate saving lives and sending smugglers through Italian court. We are and CB noble lives so she's a very important. And for the first time we. Made it more one more step when. Lieutenant Mel you're EDO was the pilot flying last week when 120. People were brought on board. And three suspects captured but the big bosses remain out of reach its. We're just forty nautical miles off the licking composer but this weekend only got great getting international water was so these guys are watching and waiting for smugglers. To lean meat territorial waters. Sydney resident. Its fleet has five ships all flying that you flags and three fixed wing aircraft and 3 helicopters patrol every morning. Thought it incoming boats and gathering evidence. I'll let us bad. What station. No way that they can mean people don't need this pain you rescue operation to do but they kennels on fifteen. Fourth. I think there is my. Some eighty suspects have been hauled in since the start of operation Sophia last October. And a mission of claims they've saved more than 20000. Lives directly. An average of 800 refugees and migrants attempt this central Mediterranean greet every day. More than 230000. People cross the Mediterranean landing in Europe so far this year. And many never make it. Nearly 3000 dead so far this year that's 1000 more then this time last year. Here a body continues its mission tonight waiting at the gates to Europe went calm seas warm temperatures. Thousands more will likely risked their lives and many will likely die trying to make the other side. Molly hunter and ABC news off the living and cuts.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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