Dangerous waters: Shadowing the Hellenic Coast Guard’s migrant rescues

Refugee and Migrant Crisis

As Europe tries to deal with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, improving weather means the pace of migrants and refugees reaching Greece from Turkey will pick up again.

On Feb 15., over 4,500 people were rescued across the Aegean Sea in Greece. Since last year, the Hellenic Coast Guard has rescued almost 150,000.

CCTV’s Filio Kontrafouri went on patrol with the Hellenic Coast Guard off the Greek island of Lesvos and witnessed what happens after those dinghies, usually loaded with women and children, enter the Greek waters.

“For us, all these people are like they are condemned to death,” said Sub-lieutenant Kyriakos Papadopoulos of the Hellenic Coast Guard. “You’ll see when we get to that boat, about which some other colleagues in the area have informed us, even with everyone on board, there is panic. People could move from one side to the other, these boats are not suitable for travel at sea, their life jackets are not suitable and at any moment their life is in danger.”