“No one leaves home unless / home is the mouth of a shark”, begins the poem ‘Home’, by British-Somali poet Warsan Shire. These lines sum up the desperation that has driven hundreds of thousands to risk the treacherous waters between Turkey and Greece, to try and reach place of safety.

When rough seas, flimsy boats and the work of unscrupulous smugglers caused thousands of deaths in this short stretch of water in 2015, friends Jude and Joby realised they simply couldn’t look the other way.

Bringing together volunteers from wide range of disciplines, they formed Refugee Rescue, launching their rescue boat ‘Mo Chara’ (Gaelic for ‘My friend’) on the Greek island of Lesvos in early 2016.

Their search and rescue team’s work is often stressful, tiring and dangerous. They work 24/7; always on-call. And since starting their work, this dedicated team have helped thousands and saved many lives.

Help Refugees have provided support for Refugee Rescue since 2016, funding both essential boat repairs and covering a whole range of project costs. We’ve also paid for GPS navigation equipment and night vision goggles to enable spotter teams to carry out their work more effectively at night.

In 2017, Mo Chara and its crew are still out on this stretch of water every day. Whether it’s responding to floundering boats or helping families off inaccessible areas of coastline where they’ve been dumped by smugglers, we’re incredibly proud to support this team’s life-saving work.

Refugee Rescue need volunteers to continue their life saving work. To register as a volunteer, click here.

Our work in Greece

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