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Refugee Rescue is a humanitarian and non-governmental organisation operating a skilled search and rescue (SAR) team on the North Shore of Lesvos, Greece. It was founded in response to inadequate search and rescue infrastructure in 2015 and is the only remaining dedicated SAR NGO in the region.
Our rescue boat "Mo Chara" and SAR crew are currently based in the small fishing village of Skala Sikamineas. On call 24/7, the Refugee Rescue team is always ready to respond in the event of an emergency. From rescuing people abandoned at the foot of inaccessible cliffs, to intercepting fragile dinghies and guiding them to safe landing zones, to facilitating transfers with authority vessels: our work on land and sea seeks to make this perilous crossing a little less dangerous for those seeking refuge. While the focus of our Emergency Response is on our SAR operations on the water, the boat crew receives vital support from our land coordinator and a team of volunteers. Onshore operations include spotting to identify boats in distress, in order the vessels can be intercepted and brought to safety, as well as working alongside partner organisations to distribute clothing, blankets, emergency supplies. We also assist the UNCHR in identifying protection or medical cases. Beyond the shoreline, we are increasingly expanding our attention to challenge the wider context of migration, as well as an increasing threat to the right to SAR more broadly. Refugee Rescue is now a member of the SAROBMED (Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean), which is an international, multi-disciplinary consortium of researchers, civil society groups, and other organisations working to prevent human rights violations on the Mediterranean.
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