An 18-month-old baby boy is alive today thanks to the efforts of several brave Turkish fishermen who rescued over 15 Syrian refugees after their boat capsized off the coast of Kusadasi, Turkey. The miraculous rescue of the child was captured on video and is now going viral. And, as CNN points out, it’s a “lift” to a story that’s “been wanting for some good news.”
According to CNN, the baby’s rescue didn’t start out with much hope. After the refugees’ boat overturned, the fishermen immediately went to help those who were in danger. But after they’d found several people, they began hearing that a child was still in the water.
Cenap Gumren, the man who rescued the child, told CNN what happened:
“We found 15 people altogether who were alive and we were able to pull them to our boat,” he said. “These people had broken Turkish and they were telling us that there are still more people in the water. They were all talking at the same time. One was saying that his brother was still there and somebody was saying that there was a kid still in the water. They were begging us to go and find them.”
The fishermen went looking for more bodies, but didn’t immediately see the child. What they saw, instead, was a life vest that looked like it had been vacated. When they saw that a child was inside, they were sure he was dead.
“We saw a life vest, which looked like an empty floating life vest, but we decided to still go check it out. I am so glad we decided to go. When we got close, it looked like a toy, like a doll, and we thought he was dead. My first thought was, ‘Okay, we have to pick up this dead baby body from the water.’ But when we got closer to him, we heard his moaning,” Gumren told CNN.
As soon as the men got the baby, allegedly named Mohammad, into the boat, they began clearing his passageways and trying to get the water out of his lungs. Gumren says the baby looked half dead, but they continued their efforts. In the video you can see how excited Gumren is to see that the child is still breathing. “Brother he is alive; he is alive. Brother, he is alive,” Gumren shouts. “My God he is alive.”
The baby is now recovering. Gumren, who’s visited the child, says that it was a joy to see the infant doing so well. “When we saw the baby last time, he was half alive. So when we saw him again all healthy and even crying, it was such a great joy,” the fisherman told CNN. The baby’s mother was also rescued and has been reunited with her child.
While Mohammad’s rescue is something to celebrate, it’s also a reminder of the danger those escaping Syria by water face.
More than 680,000 migrants have crossed by boat into Europe seeking safety and sustenance so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Nearly 3,200 have drowned or disappeared during the perilous journey.
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