I want to tell you guys about Mary.
Mary has multiple search and rescue missions in Greece and the Mediterranean under her belt and, at just 19, she is one of the youngest skippers out there. She’s recently joined The Worldwide Tribe team as an ambassador, and she’s currently on board the Aquarius in the Mediterranean sea.
Right now Mary’s in the middle of a six week mission working as part of the SOS Mediterranee search and rescue team, working tirelessly to save the lives of refugees who attempt the dangerous crossing from Libya to Italy.
The reality of the situation, and the work that Mary and all other search and rescuers do, is hard to comprehend. Some boats are calm, and it can be fairly easy for the rescue teams to bring the people on board to safety.
The rubber boats are flimsy and fragile, and if people start to panic the situation can deteriorate quickly. A little movement and the boat can tip, people can be thrown into the water, and when many can’t swim, that can be disastrous.
The teams do all that they can to calm the situation, to work fast and to get people to safety but, sadly, to save every life is impossible.
For all the difficult times though, there are incredible stories of resilience and survival.
The story of baby Newman, who was born on board the Aquarius ship a day after his mother and brothers were rescued from a rubber boat.
The story of Victor, who was separated from his wife and children on the beach in Libya when smugglers began shooting and everyone ran to get onto the rubber boats. He saw his wife, Faith, and their two sons board the Aquarius 24 hours later after being rescued by a navy ship. Until then he did not know they were alive.
I can’t quite find the words to express the respect and love that I have for Mary, the SOS Mediterranee team and all of the other search and rescuers who put everything into getting as many vulnerable people to safety as possible.
However, I think I can say, from all of us, thank you <3
Dan is expecting to join search and rescue missions later in the Autumn, and we’d be so grateful if you would consider donating to support our search and rescue efforts.
Photo credit (Marco Panzetti / SOS MEDITERANEE)