Wednesday’s Tragedy

I don’t know how widely this has been reported in the press, but perhaps you will already know that on Wednesday there was a great loss of lives in the Aegean sea when a large boat carrying almost 300 people sank suddenly in a matter of seconds. Survivors I spoke to explained to me that there was an upper deck loaded with people, which suddenly collapsed. A photographer has photos of the boat sailing, and just 20 seconds later, sinking. The boats the traffickers are piling people into are rotten, old, unseaworthy. Dangerous. When they are closed, the people in them go straight down with them if something happens. The use of these big, wooden, closed boats in on the increase and people pay more to sail in them than the rubber dinghies, thinking they are safer when they are indisputably more dangerous.

We watched the rescue operation from the shore. Little orange dots, bobbing about on the sea, waiting to be rescued. In the harbour at Molyvos volunteers and Greek authorities worked tirelessly to look after survivors and save lives. 248 people were rescued. Some bodies were taken from the water yesterday. 20 bodies were washed up along the shore today. An 11 year old Afghan girl lost all the family she was travelling with and now finds herself alone in a chaotic refugee system in an entirely alien country. She has become very attached to a Norwegian volunteer who has been working hard to look out for her and her rights and make sure she is not lost or forgotten about in a chaotic immigration system in an entirely alien country. Please take five minutes to watch this video which I hope will take you one step closer to feeling the reality of this humanitarian crisis.

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