Pictures show shocking conditions aboard Mediterranean migrant boat

Sleeping migrants are pictured lying on top of one another. Credit: Al Aan TV/YouTube

Footage filmed by a man on board a refugee ship across the Mediterranean shows the shocking conditions some migrants are encountering to reach European shores.

The video, published last month by Dubai-based TV network Al Aan TV, was filmed by a Syrian refugee making the crossing over to Italy.

It shows fellow migrants crammed together within the hull of the ship, in some cases sleeping on top of one another.

Thousands of Syrians have made the perilous journey across the sea in recent years in a bid to escape the war-torn country, often paying smugglers the equivalent of thousands of pounds to do so.

Some of those aboard the ship are pictured sleeping on top of one another. Credit: Al Aan TV/YouTube
People wishing to flee to Europe often pay thousands of pounds for the journey. Credit: Al Aan TV/YouTube
People are then seen on the unprotected deck of the vessel. Credit: Al Aan TV/YouTube

Around 1,500 migrants have died in total trying to reach Europe this year alone from countries such as Syria, Libya, Turkey - sometimes seeking escape from further-flung countries such as Eritrea, Somalia and even Bangladesh.

Italian authorities say they often have to act alone to deal with the regular shipwrecks about the vessels, after EU nations including Britain withdrew support for a wider search and rescue operation, dubbed the Mare Nostrum.

In the week prior to yesterday's tragedy - which itself is feared to have left more than 700 dead - the Italian coastguard rescued almost 8,000 migrants from the Mediterranean.