Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Eurozone

Emotional sea rescue of migrants off Greek island

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 01:20

Migrants on an overcrowded dinghy with no working engine are rescued off the coast of the Greek island Lesbos, saying Greek and Turkish authorities ignored their plight. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A dinghy overcrowded with migrants and refugees mainly from Afghanistan and Iran had to be rescued on Saturday morning (September 19) by foreign volunteers off the northern shore of the Greek island of Lesbos, as the engine of the boat had stopped working during the night. Those on board could be seen paddling with their hands and shouting for help as they approached the shore, between the village of Skala Sykamnias and the town of Molyvos. A team of foreign volunteers used an abandoned dinghy to help rescue the group of roughly 40 exhausted and terrified men, women and children and take them to shore. Some migrants tumbled into the sea as they tried to board the volunteers' boat. Later others were seen swimming for the shore and another man began appeared to be drowning before being kept above water by a Greek man. Exhausted and terrified, the migrants were eventually brought to safety and began crying, hugging and some were celebrating. One of those on board, 18-year-old Mohammed Reza who fled Afghanistan, said he lost hope when the dinghy's motor stopped working. "The water and fuel mixed up together and engine stopped working, and we were on the sea for about seven or eight hours without any water and any food," he said. Reza, who left his family in Iran before setting off for Greece, said he thought he would die when he saw Turkish and Greek police ignoring their boat, "I didn't have any hope, I just, I said: 'I am dead right now', I am dead, nobody help me," he said. "Even the Turkish police, Turkish police saw us but they didn't care. The Greek police saw us and they didn't care. You know at that moment, we, all of us, thought that we are useless, we are not human," he added. Mobile phone footage taken on board the boat showed an occupant waving a homemade white flag to attract attention while others paddled with their hands. Reza said Turkish coastguards had assisted two other dinghies attempting the crossing at the same time, but that his boat had been left alone. Of the record 430,000 refugees and migrants who have made the journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, 309,000 have arrived via Greece, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Emotional sea rescue of migrants off Greek island

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 01:20