A Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Greenpeace rescue team responded to a sinking rigid inflatable boat (rhib) carrying 45 Afghan refugees crossing from Turkey to the north shore of Lesvos, Greece. On arrival to the scene the poor quality inflatable was taking on water. The people on board were having problems with the outboard motor as it was poorly fitted and could not be restarted. It was soon obvious to the Greenpeace/MSF crew that the sponsons were rapidly losing air and the lives of the people were in immediate danger.
The Afghans in the vessel started screaming, “please help us, we're sinking! We don't want to die!” The rescue boats responded quickly and effectively to the situation as people started to panic and tried to jump from the boat. Babies and children were held in the air to alert the crew while parents cried out, “take the children, we have children on board!” The women and children were grabbed first and transferred into two Greenpeace/MSF boats that were flanking both sides of the sinking boat. All people were successfully rescued and transferred to Molyvos harbour where response teams were on standby.