We will not forget you and we will not be silent
In December 2018, the Aquarius – MSF’s last remaining search and rescue ship in the Mediterranean – was forced to end operations after political pressure from European governments. For Canadian nurse Courtney, who worked onboard another of our search and rescue vesels, this news resurfaced difficult emotions and inspired her to write a heartbreaking “memorial” for those lives lost at sea.
We sat together for an indefinite amount of time and nothing was said. We just held each other
In this stark and evocative story, Irish doctor Conor Kenny recalls the dramatic and at times heartbreaking tale of one tragic night on board Aquarius – as, against the darkness of injustice and the degradation of human life in Libya, an unrelenting spirit to survive shines through.
The thin plastic rafts crammed with desperate people don’t stand a chance of getting across
Compelled to speak out about what he’d witnessed, US logistician Mark wrote this powerful blog post during his dramatic time on board Aquarius in 2017. Putting himself in the place of those he’d helped rescue, he reimagines the desperation that pushes people to flee Libya.
They have no choice and this is why they keep coming
“I’d prefer to die in the water than die in Libya” – the words of a Cameroonian woman, rescued from a small rubber boat after nine hours at sea. In this harrowing blog post, Tiziana, a communications officer from Italy, recounts the horrific stories of violence and sexual abuse experienced by countless women in Libya.
Even if you believe that you are strong, there comes a moment when you can’t take it anymore
Moments after climbing back on board Aquarius, Tunisian team member Oussama begins checking-in with the people he just helped rescue. It’s now that he meets Jonathan, a 17-year-old boy from Nigeria with large scars around his wrists and an all-too-common story of trauma and abuse that led him to a small boat in the middle of the Mediterranean.
The universal language of smiles is often mixed with tears - these are emotions that are hard to describe
“If despair could be a single image,” writes Antonia, “it would be an overcrowded rubber boat filled with fellow humans on the horizon”. In this deeply personal blog post, the Swiss nurse describes in detail the heavy emotional load that her ship carries after rescuing a group of desperate people, relieved to have found safety at last.