Mediterranean migration

Beyond the rescue: saving a life means preserving a story

The refugee's journey across the Mediterranean

Four months since Dignity I sailed off from Barcelona to Sicily and then towards search and rescue zone thirty miles of the Libyan coast more than 5,000 people have been saved from perishing in the Mediterranean sea. All together the three MSF vessels – Dignity I, Burbon Argos and Phoenix that have been operating since as early as May have assisted more than 17,000 people. And every week there are more people coming.

Yet, these numbers are not enough to explain what can push a person to make such a journey. MSF team on board of Dignity I has been collecting stories and testimonies of those rescued in an attempt to see what lays beyond the numbers.

In the words of Laura Pasquero, humanitarian officer who interviewed more than 100 people so far:

“Through the people we talk to we rescue the stories of their friends and family members who often don’t make it, for they die in the desert, or at sea, or in one of Libya’s prisons. When we talk to people about the boat trip on the sea to Europe, two things come out constantly from all the stories: that the boat trip was their only option to save their life, and that on the boat they were almost sure they were going to die. It looks like a contradiction. But it’s their reality.”


The Journey ENG

Marta Soszynska/MSF