Newly-released video shows the dramatic rescue in January of dozens of migrants, mostly women and children, whose boat was sinking off the Greek island of Lesbos. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and environmental organisation Greenpeace on Saturday (February 6) released footage of a dramatic water rescue in January. Migrants desperate to reach the safety of Europe were rescued from their sinking dinghy by volunteers from the two aid organisations off the Greek island of Lesbos. As they approached the overloaded boat, two migrants were scooping water out with their hands. The rescue was in coordination with Greek coastguards, and the two organizations have jointly been operating three rescue boats around the eastern Aegean island since December. During the rescue operation, a woman jumped off the sinking dinghy towards the rescue boat but slipped, screaming as she clutched the side of the rescue boat. Volunteers tried to calm her down. Among the migrants, many are women and children - two groups whose numbers have overtaken the number of men for the first time since the migrant crisis began, according to figures released last week by Unicef. One third of those boarding dinghies in Turkey are children. "It was so many children, I was completely wet and the boat was sinking and you have to stack all the babies up and I was so shocked because they were never-ending, there came so many children, I can't imagine how all the babies fit in that boat," said Greenpeace member, Amanda Eklund, who operated the boat during the January rescue. Last week, the Commission warned Greece it could face more border controls with other states of the free-travel Schengen zone in May, if it does not fix "serious deficiencies" in its management of the area's external frontier. Clausen criticised the European Union's handling of the crisis, in particular the three billion euros in aid money earmarked for Turkey. More than 62,000 migrants, many of them refugees from the Syrian war, landed on Greek islands in January using rickety wooden boats or inflatable dinghies from Turkey braving winter weather and rough seas, according to the International Organisation for Migration. More than one million migrants flooded into Europe in 2015, with over 800,000 coming through Greece.