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Update on Lesvos, Greece: October 28th, 2015

The SCM team in Molyvos experienced a great tragedy today.

At 10a.m. this morning, SCM responded to an SOS call in regards to a wooden boat capsizing off the northern shores of Lesvos. It is reported that the Greek Coast Guard and various fishing boats retrieved 242 individuals from the sea, but it is estimated that over 300 were originally making the dangerous journey to Greece. Some were already deceased by the time they reached land, including children and infants. The total number of casualties has yet to be confirmed. Our team provided emergency assistance to those retrieved, and worked hard to save lives during this very trying time.

SCM sends its sincere condolences to all who lost loved ones. We also recognize the impact this has had on our team and we wish them strength as they continue to help those that need us during this crisis. At this time, we will not be sharing pictures taken by others of our team at work out of respect for the survivors and the graphic nature of the photographs.

Rather, to put things in perspective, Dr. Zakia Arfeen stated, “I have seen more dead babies today than I have in my entire life. But my concerns are for those babies who were carted off with labored breathing and faint heartbeats. My heart stays with those mothers who begged us to save their children.”

SCM is grateful for those who recently donated funds for AED machines and oxygen masks, as they surely saved lives today.

Once again, SCM strongly urges the international community to clear a safe pathway for refugees fleeing the conflict as water conditions worsen and the situation in Syria and Iraq escalate.

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