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The Drowning Season: Most of the exhausted refugees are rescued, others are dying in the sea among the volunteers

For two weeks, Jacob Ehrbahn and Kjeld Hybel, photographer and journalist at the Danish daily Politiken, were on board a German rescue ship with volunteers from the NGO Sea-Watch. In several cases they were in the motor boats that pick up desperate, exhausted refugees that were risking their lives to get to Europe. Some of them drowned. Some were petrified ghosts. A couple of women were pregnant. Most of them will eventually be sent back to Africa. The rest will probably have miserable lives in Europe.


For Chris from the German city of Wuppertal, it goes without saying that you have to rescue as many refugees as possible from drowning in the Mediterranean as they attempt to reach Europe. He is one of the key persons on the German NGO vessel ‘Sea-Watch 2’.

The ship and its crew of volunteers try to carry out a rescue mission that every country in the region appears to shun. We spent two weeks on the ship, and during the last four days of our stint, all Hell broke loose, pushing the crew members to the limit.

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