In recent weeks, landings have moved mainly to the South although we have had a boat both yesterday and today. Yesterday’s arrival was smooth with everyone transported to the Cheese Factory and given primary care, but the arrival of today was much more critical. A larger boat with about 100 people was sinking off the port of Palios and when we received the call people were already in the water. Fortunately, the rescue team SeaWatch was started already in place with their boat and together with them we organised an emergency rescue call for the groups in the North. Through Whatsapp, a messaging app which we use to communicate most frquently, we quickly organized more lifeboats and assistance to the port. Soon two more lifeboats had arrived and with SeaWatch they ferried people from the sinking ship to the small port. On land were MSF, the CK team and Borderline, ready to supply the wet and hypothermic. Just yesterday our new team member and doctor Johannes had arrived. Johannes aided some hypothermic children, one of whom showed more serious symptoms and was sent to the hospital in Mytilini. The newly arrived, shocked people were taken in vehicles to the MSF camp in Mantamados where they got dry clothes and shoes. We picked up a lot of shoes from our warehouse in the Cheese Factory, and brought them to the camp, where they were distributed quickly.
The well-functioning network of NGOs made this situation pass without anyone being seriously harmed. It is always difficult to make such an assumption, but it is very possible that without the help of land and sea rescue people could have died this morning.
Accordingly, we want to thank all those who helped this morning in Palios as well as everyone who works on the island of Lesvos and the Balkan route in general. Land and sea support would have never even been possible without the donations and man power that is provided to every NGO. Despite difficult times, we are glad that there are still many people around the world who continue to advocate that people in need should be helped. In a time when the view of Europe is morally wrong, the passion and commitment of so many people shows that we will all continue to stand up and fight for human values.