15. September 2015 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Tunisia: Testimonies from fishermen receiving training in saving lives at sea · Kategorien: Nicht zugeordnet

Quelle: MSF

For years, Tunisian fishermen have been encountering migrant boats in distress, and saving lives by bringing people onto their fishing boats. Increasingly, fishermen encounter boats that are in much worse conditions than before, and are much more prone to sinking.

In order to increase Tunisian fishermen’s capacity to carry out rescues at sea, MSF has carried out a six-day training with 116 local fishermen in the town of Zarzis.

Some of the attendees shared their stories with us …

“Wherever these people came from, they are still human beings.”

„My team and I have gone through situations at sea that were very difficult and dangerous. It is very risky to save 100 to 150 people with a crew of seven sailors. Some could be armed, aim weapons at you and your crew and steal your boat in order to get to Italy. So of course, we are always very careful.


During a rescue, we focus on the most vulnerable people, the women and children. These are the first people we bring onto our boat.
In July 2014, there was a real disaster here. Fishermen stopped fishing completely as there were too many bodies in the water. Wherever these people came from, they are still human beings. I have a family, a wife and children. It is very hard, finding yourself in this situation, faced with so many bodies.

These people are faced with wars. If they remain, they will be killed whatever happens. They think they have a greater chance of survival if they cross the Mediterranean.

There are also the immigration “pirates”, who give the impression that it is a short way from here to Italy, saying that if you start smoking a cigarette here, by the time you finish it, you will be in Lampedusa. It is a massive lie. Once at sea, they are left on their own. I have brought back women who had just given birth. Just imagine a woman giving birth, surrounded by 90 people, with no privacy! Thankfully, everything went all right. Other women helped, they cut the umbilical cord and, thank God, the baby was safe and healthy.“ […]

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