Video footage has emerged showing Turkish fishermen in the western resort town of Kuşadası rescuing a toddler in a life-jacket in the sea off the Aegean province Aydın after a refugee boat capsized on Oct. 21.
Two refugees died and 16 others went missing in two separate accidents in the Aegean Sea, when boats heading to Greece from Turkey capsized. Some 15 refugees in the boat were rescued while 15 others were missing as of Oct. 22, while Turkish coast guards are continuing their work to find the missing refugees.
The child, who was wearing a life-jacket, was found just off shore from the resort town of Kusadasi, not far from the beach where another Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, was found dead, face down in the sand.
Recep Evran, the captain of the fishing boat, said that he and his crew initially thought the baby was dead.
“He was all pale. 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 harbor arrived to help us before taking the baby to Kuşadası,” Evran told Hurriyet on Friday.
The toddler, identified as Muhammad Hasan, is now reported to be in good health at the İzmir State Hospital after initial treatment in Kuşadası.
Witnesses of the event said they helped 15 other people to get on their boat after noticing a group of refugees, mostly women, floating in their life-jackets and crying for help.
“They were trying to explain with hand signs that there were 30 people in the water. We think the others are deep at the bottom of the sea,” the captain added. The group who had waited for up to five hours in the water included a pregnant woman, one witness said.