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Greeks Selflessly Rescue Migrants in Rhodes

RhodesManolis Stavris, a man from Rhodes who has been working as a sailor all his life, participated in the rescue mission on April 20, when a boat carrying around 200 illegal migrants sank just off the island’s shore. The man selflessly dove into the sea in order to help a drowning two-year-old girl.
Manolis Stavris is a member crew on the boat “Iraklis” which was the first to arrive at the scene to help the migrants at 9:30 am when their boat collided with some rocks off the coast of Rhodes. “We were the first to spot the boat, we thought it was a tourist boat. When we saw it hit the rocks, we contacted the company and they told us to rush and save the people,” he said.
“I saw a young woman holding on to a tube with a baby in her arms, while several people were struggling near her. She was shouting ‘the baby, the baby.’ I saw the baby fall from her hands and slowly descend towards the bottom of the sea, like lead, like a stone. The baby was wearing a lot of clothes. I dove into the water and caught the child. Another six people fell in the water after me,” he said.
“I couldn’t feel the cold, or anything. I only cared about saving the people.”
“The child didn’t make a sound. She looked at me like she wanted to say something, I held her close and she didn’t make a sound, she didn’t even cry.”
“I’ve never seen anything like what happened yesterday, only on television. I’ve been travelling for 38 years and I’ve never seen anything like that. I’m proud to be Greek from the Dodecanese,” he added.
“A Greek woman standing nearby, took the clothes off her own child in order to dress the baby that I had saved. We are all proud to be Greek. We may not have enough, we may be starving but in situations such like these we are the best people in the world.”
“They are wrong when they say that we shouldn’t build camps for these people. They are people after all. It’s a pity. They are calling on us to rescue them.” No one will ever forget how selflessly the people in Rhodes rushed to rescue the migrants, without even taking a second to reconsider.

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