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Video: Heroic rescue of 18-month-old baby after refugee boat capsizes

Footage has emerged of Turkish fishermen pulling an 18-month-old boy in a life jacket out of the Aegean Sea after the boat carrying him and other refugees capsized.

The video, revealed by Turkish news agency DHA on Oct 21, shows fishermen from the town of Kusadasi, Turkey, pulling the Syrian toddler abord the boat, after they spotted him floating in the water. 

The toddler, who has been identified as Muhammad Hasan, was travelling on a boat with 30 other refugees which was sailing from Turkey to Greece. 

 

Muhammad was initially thought to be dead, but he started making noises and the fishermen immediately pulled him out of the water.

One of the fishermen stripped off the boy's life jacket and turned him around and upside down in an attempt to clear water from his lungs. He then wrapped the boy in a towel.

The fishermen, Recep Evran and Cenap Gumran, passed the boy to rescuers who rushed him to a hospital in Kusadasi to be treated.

“He was all pale. We suspected hypothermia as he was cold and his hands and feet were all white. He was also frothing at the mouth.

"We covered the baby with a blanket, tried to rescue him. After our call, a tow boat from the harbour arrived to help us before taking the baby to Kusadasi,” Recep Evran, the captain of the boat, told the newspaper Hürriyet, after the incident on Thursday.

They found 15 other refugees floating in the water and rescued them, reported CNN.

Most of those floating in the water were reportedly women, one of them pregnant.

Muhammad is now in good health and has since been reunited with his 23-year-old mother Lorin Hale, separated when the boat capsized. His father is still in Syria.

Fishermen Recep Evran and Cenap Gumran visited Muhammad and his mother, happy to see that the toddler is healthy and well. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB/ GUARDIAN

According to Lorin, smugglers had promised them a bigger boat than the one they had been forced to take in the end, reported the Guardian.

“They put 30 people on the boat. They had told us that we would be going on a bigger boat. But when we got there, we saw that the boat was small,” Lorin told Turkish reporters.

“But by then it was too late to do anything. We wanted to go to Greece. We lived through a huge panic. But (the fishermen) saved us, I cannot thank them enough."

Sources: The Guardian, DHA, CNN

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