Our amazing tribe member Brendan has been working in search and rescue for a long time now and has saved many lives, but recently he went on a mission out at sea, during which their ship came into contact with no refugees needing help.
On his way back to dry land, he wrote this open, raw and emotional post:
“We’re leaving the search and rescue zone now and heading back to Malta…
As we turned to head home there was a feeling of disappointment in the air. Certainly I was disappointed that we had not encountered anyone to help.
It’s a strange emotion to be here and have nobody to rescue but I suppose that’s a battle with my personal desires that I need to face up to.
Maybe it’s ego?
Maybe it’s just a shared love of my fellow humans that I feel compelled to be here, and actually do the job that makes me feel that I make a difference?
Whatever it is though, I honestly believe that if this is my only frustration, then all of my problems are small. And if I’m frustrated, then imagine what the guys are feeling, grafting away in sweatshops for the smuggling cartels. Or the women who endure unspeakable hardships to get to Europe. My feelings of disappointment make me feel so selfish.
So, as we turned to head back, there was a small announcement over the tannoy that we were leaving. The throttle was pushed and away we went.
Within less than two minutes we were surrounded by dolphins in numbers that none of us had seen before. There were probably 50 of them surrounding the front of the ship. Some were really young and some had scars on their backs and fins.
At times, some of them jumped so high out of the water that our team cheered loudly. There are guys on the ship with years of sailing experience who even said that they’d never seen anything like it before.
What an absolute privilege to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
It was like they were saying: “goodbye, and thanks for trying”
Of course, we are over the moon to hear Brendan and the team were not needed this time…but since Brendan’s return, we have heard reports of many more refugee boats in trouble out in the Mediterranean.
Unfortunately this quiet mission is not representative of a decline in deaths out at sea as people continue to make the dangerous journey to reach Europe.
Thank you Brendan for your continued work to save lives.