Από την Hellenic Maritime Academy στο facebook:
I had my Best Christmas gift ever;
54 LIVES, with over 20 children – SAVED.
Yesterday, 24 Dec, on Christmas Eve and just before midnight, we started the engine for a new all-nighter rescue; medical equipments, water, and wetsuits on… It was a full moon night, with clear sky full of stars, and luckily an incredibly calm sea. We waited long before we found the first group of people and there were 14 Syrian refugees on a deserted island. They were in fear from the new unknowns, but carefully moved towards the shore , where we picked them up smoothly.
We then headed to rescue others and found 40 people wet, exhausted, full of smoke from burning their life vests to signal and keep warm, abandoned by their smuggler on a rock formation; 20 of which were children (including few new borns) and their moms. The time to transport them through the shallow waters with sharp rocks with our little RIB (dinghy) took long, and they were getting colder and colder, but we stayed with them to insure their safety and even had the chance to have a chat and make jokes to boost their hope and cheer them up, while our great captain transported them to the boat.
Once all were inside the sailing boat, we started our slow trip to the harbour. Seeing those beautiful children smile made risking our own lives worth it.
A lovely Syrian teenager, with tears in his eyes, asked me “Are all Greeks like this?” I smiled and without words gave him a brotherly hug, he whispered the most sincere ” shukran – thank you” I ever heard. A Few prayed for the whole team and their families to always be safe, live in peace and never to forcibly have to leave their homes.
We arrived around 6:15am safe and sound, and we escorted them to the refugee camp to register and rest to start a new land journey.
I looked at the sunrise this morning with tears of gratitude towards my team and to the strength we have to save many lives,and it looked so beautiful. I’m writing this note on 25 Dec evening on the boat heading again to a new rescue in the Aegean Sea. Thank you all for the positive vibes, love, care and strength which you send me. I’m grateful to have you in my life.