TURKEY — A remarkable rescue at sea was captured on video and is helping to lift spirits on a story so wanting for good news.
The footage was shot recently in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Kusadasi, Turkey. A boat carrying migrants capsized, according to Turkey’s Dogan News Agency (DHA).
The video shows fishermen approaching what looks to be a floating life jacket. A baby boy is inside.
One of the men pulls the child out of the water and strips off his life jacket, turning the boy over and upside down in an apparent attempt to clear water from the boy’s lungs. He wraps the child in a blanket.
“Brother he is alive; he is alive. Brother, he is alive,” a voice shouts. “My God he is alive.”
Searching for others
The 18-month-old survived and is in good health, DHA reported.
Cenap Gumren is one of the fishermen who helped saved him. He’s seen in the video holding the boy.
“We found 15 people altogether who were alive and we were able to pull them to our boat,” he said. “These people had broken Turkish and they were telling us that there are still more people in the water. They were all talking at the same time. One was saying that his brother was still there and somebody was saying that there was a kid still in the water. They were begging us to go and find them.”
The fisherman went in search of others.
“We saw a life vest, which looked like an empty floating life vest, but we decided to still go check it out. I am so glad we decided to go. When we got close, it looked like a toy, like a doll, and we thought he was dead. My first thought was, ‘Okay, we have to pick up this dead baby body from the water.’ But when we got closer to him, we heard his moaning,” Gumren told CNN.
More than 680,000 migrants have crossed by boat into Europe seeking safety and sustenance so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Nearly 3,200 have drowned or disappeared during the perilous journey.
A grim face
In September, the body of a small boy washed ashore a beach in Bodrum, Turkey. A photograph of him wearing a red T-shirt, blue pants and black shoes, lying face-down in the sand, appeared on front pages and news sites worldwide — a grim face on the migrant crisis that is swamping Europe.
That boy’s name was Aylan.
The 18-month-old who survived is reportedly called Mohammad.
Gumren went to visit the boy and found him wonderfully ordinary.
“When we saw the baby last time, he was half alive. So when we saw him again all healthy and even crying, it was such a great joy,” the fisherman said.