The stretch of sea between Greece and Turkey is not long, roughly 9 km, but nevertheless one of the most dangerous crossings in the world. In November 2017 alone, four people have given their life trying to cross the Aegean Sea.
The people we help mostly travel in families, but there are also often various unaccompanied minors among them. In October 2017 we helped 533 people and among them were 133 women and 226 children.
Helping people reach land safely
Our skilled crew operates on our lovely lady Mo Chara, an ex-RNLI Atlantic 75. Mochara is the only boat with the capability to get close enough. With the help of Mochara, we can get people into safety fast. We also often guide people towards safe landing zones where our and other landing teams await them.
Next to our work at sea, we have an outstanding landing team that provides first emergency care to those that arrive. As the first point of arrival, the temporary stage 2 (transit camp) is where our land volunteers work with other organisations to provide first comfort, dry shoes and clothes, tea, food and warm blankets.
Professional search and rescue
Our search and rescue crew is on call 24/7 and operates in a variety of settings.
We guide boats towards safe landing spots, thereby preventing them from risking to capsize when hitting dangerous rocks. We rescue people that are stuck on inaccessible rocks or beaches. We assist authorities in transferring people from their vessels to our boat to make them reach the next port faster. We patrol to spot boats in distress.
First emergency response upon landing
Our volunteers at land help to provide first help once refugees have reached a safe harbor or landing spot. They distribute blankets, assess acute needs and provide first comfort for those that arrive. When people realize that they are safe, they are in shock. Some lose consciousness upon arrival and others vomit due to dehydration or suffer from panic attacks. Now in winter we also observe a lot of people suffering from hypothermia. Among those who arrive are often pregnant women, disabled persons, individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes or elderly with a variety of needs for specialized care.
Assistance at temporary camp stage 2
The temporary stage 2 is the first point of arrival where all refugees stay before they are transferred to other camps, often Moria. Here our volunteers help to distribute dry clothes and shoes, provide some food and drinks and offer first comfort and provide sleeping pads and bags, if people have to stay the night.