Turkish fishermen rescue 18-month-old boy after refugee boat capsizes

The men initially assumed the toddler was dead

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 25 October 2015 14:47
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Turkish fisherman saves life of refugee toddler spotted floating in the sea

Footage has emerged of Turkish fishermen rescuing an 18-month-old boy after a refugee boat capsized en route to Greece.

Thousands of refugees have attempted to cross into Europe through the Aegean Sea.

Most are fleeing war in Syria.

In the video, the men initially assume the toddler is dead, after spotting him floating in the water wearing a life jacket.

"Oh my God, there's a baby, too," one of the men can be heard to shout.

They soon noticed he was making sounds, causing one fisherman to exclaim "he's alive, he's alive!"

The rescuers say they helped 15 people out of the water, including one woman who was pregnant.

"He was all pale", Recep Evran, captain of the boat, told Hurriyet Daily News.

"We suspected hypothermia as he was cold and his hands and feet were all white. He was also frothing at the mouth.

"We covered the baby with a blanket, tried to rescue him.

"After our call, a tow boat from the harbour arrived to help us before taking the baby to Kuşadası."

The toddler, later identified as Muhammad Hasan, is now reported to be in good health and has been reunited with his mother, Lorin Halef.

Ms Halef told local reports the smugglers had promised them a bigger boat than the one they had been forced to take.

Some people smugglers have been offering a "seasonal discount" in the hopes of encouraging more refugees to make the dangerous journey as winter approaches.

Despite the choppy seas, networks use the same flimsy rubber dinghies throughout the year.

The President of the European Commission has warned that families of refugees could "perish miserably" if the EU fails to find a solution to the ongoing refugee crisis.

More than 2,600 refugees and migrants are known to have drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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