Even in the middle of winter, thousands of desperate families are making the perilous crossing from Turkey to Greece. A recent Sky News report shows the horrendous reality of this journey for Syrian refugees.
Disturbing footage from Sky News has captured the tragic deaths of three small Syrian children who drowned when their boat capsized in the freezing Aegean Sea last week. Twelve men, five women, and three children were rescued from the icy waters, but a four-year-old girl and a pair of two-year-old boys couldn’t be saved.
Journalist Lisa Holland and her cameraman joined rescue team MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) to report on the organization’s ongoing efforts to save refugees lost at sea. The team patrol the waters between Turkey and Greece, and regularly come across migrant boats in distress. On this night-time patrol, MOAS discovered a capsized boat in the freezing Aegean Sea and saw people clinging to the upturned hull. The team dragged the refugees onboard, including a seven-month pregnant woman who was traveling with her husband and young kids. In the video, her husband cries with despair as MOAS fail to resuscitate the children. Survivors were taken to the MOAS mother ship for medical treatment; many had hypothermia and it is unknown whether or not they pulled through.
MOAS director, Martin Xuereb, told Sky News:
In this part of the world, during this period – December, January, February – the weather can be truly unforgiving and you think because you are in a sheltered bay in Turkey you think that the weather is safe. The minute you go out on open seas it’s far from safe. Despite the weather conditions, despite the treacherous seas, people keep taking to the water, keep crossing and keep dying.”
The Syrian survivors, including one doctor, said the boat was being driven erratically. It was chartered by a 20-year-old Turkish man, who admitted he had no experience but claimed he was ‘forced’ to take the journey. He was found clinging to a floating mattress in the sea and was the last person to be rescued; now he will face criminal charges of manslaughter. The survivors docked on the Greek island of Agathonisi to start a new life in Europe, but thousands of others won’t be so lucky.
The tragedy of the ongoing refugee crisis (and the war that caused it) are even more devastating when you consider the rising tide of anti-Muslim feeling in the West. Many cynics have made claims that the crossing was unnecessary because Turkey is a safe haven for refugees (except it’s not). Others have naively declared that anyone fleeing a war zone should not have a decent pair of sneakers, without considering that many Syrian refugees were middle-class, educated professionals with successful careers before chaos erupted in their country. These kinds of ignorant comments are based on the fear and division sown by the mainstream media, when what humanity really needs right now is a little more compassion for these victims of geopolitical oil wars.
What are your thoughts? Please share this video and let us know below!
This article (Tragic News Report Films Three Syrian Toddlers Drowning In Frozen Sea) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com