Misc 13/11/2020

"I've lost my baby!": a desperate mother's cry during the Open Arms rescue

The six-month-old boy was rescued from the sea, but died soon after

Albert Castellví Roca
2 min

Sabadell"I've lost my baby! I've lost my baby!" This was the desperate cry of a woman who was among the 111 people rescued from the sea last Wednesday by the rescue teams of the Catalan NGO Open Arms. The mother had already been able to get out of the water, and was aboard one of the entity's inflatable boats, but in the midst of the chaos of the shipwreck she had lost her six-month-old son. The two of them, and a hundred other people, were trying to reach Europe on board of a boat that sank in the central Mediterranean.

The baby was eventually rescued from the sea, but he was in a very bad state: he was suffering a cardiorespiratory arrest and, despite the efforts of the Open Arms volunteers to revive him, he ended up passing away. He was born in Guinea and his name was Joseph. He was one of the six victims of the shipwreck, a new episode in the tragedy that has been going on for years in the Mediterranean. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since 2014 more than 20,000 people have lost their lives trying to reach Europe by sea.

"This is the video of a moment you don't want to see, or live, or suffer. But she saw it, lived it and will suffer it for the rest of her life. It is necessary to at least see it, to be able to feel a very small piece of her pain and to understand that we have made the Mediterranean a living hell", tweeted Oriol Canals, one of the Open Arms volunteers.

More than 250 people rescued in two days

The NGO rescue ship rescued two boats last Wednesday. After saving 111 people in the shipwreck in which Joseph and five others died, the Open Arms rescued 64 people who were on board a drifting boat in another part of the central Mediterranean. In addition, it had saved 88 more migrants the day before. Six people who were in serious health condition were urgently evacuated in an Italian Coast Guard helicopter, but, as the organization recalls, there are still 257 people alive on board the ship waiting to disembark in a safe port, in addition to five dead bodies.

As Open Arms points out, these figures are a reminder that "the Mediterranean is the deadliest border on the planet".