Harrowing footage has emerged of the moment Turkish fishermen heroically saved the life of an 18-month-old boy, feared dead in the Aegean Sea.
The child was thrown into the ocean, along with an unknown number of Syrian refugees, when a boat carrying them to shore was capsized following strong winds off the coast of Kuşadasi, Turkey.
The fishermen happened to be within reachable distance to the boat when it was overthrown, immediately rushing to the aid of the drowning passengers.
The men had managed to save fifteen people when they started hearing reports of a child still lost in the water.
Cenap Gumren, the man responsible for rescuing the child told CNN how the events unfolded:
“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 men then continued to search for the child, upon finding a lifejacket that appeared to have been vacated, they were shocked to realise a child was lying face down in the water within it.
“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.
“Brother, he’s alive! He’s alive!” Gumren says in the video as he tries to revive the child.
The boy, allegedly named Mohammed Hasan, was taken to Kusadasi and later to Izmir, where he was reunited with his family.
The heart wrenching video comes just two months after the world was exposed to the harrowing images of three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi.
Whilst Mohammad’s rescue is success story to celebrate, it is also a stark reminder of the dangers faced by those seeking refuge across the sea.
Just this year, 680,000 migrants have sought asylum and safety in Europe, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
Nearly 3,200 of these have drowned or disappeared.