Yesterday, the Aquarius brought aboard 96 passengers — 75 men, 18 women and three small girls under 10. The rescue and embarkation were about as calm as they could be, and MSF teams handed out tea and couscous. The passengers staked out their favourite spots on the deck to place their blankets, dry their wet clothes and chat. As usual, many of them grouped together by age and language. MSF and SOS team members talked among themselves and eagerly took questions from curious migrants. The Ghanaian crew members on board the Aquarius were happy to get to know a group of West Africans who spoke their native language!
Then, in one minute, all the group discussions were dropped, and the passengers ran as one person to one side of the boat. For a fraction of a second, some of us worried something terrible had happened, until the distinctive voice of MSF nurse Mary Jo cut through the cloud of talk: “Dolphins, dolphins, come look!”
Men and women, migrants and medics, anglophones, francophones and Arabic speakers, Eritreans and Nigerians. everyone gathered together to watch the dolphins go by.
Thank you, dolphins, for showing us how easily barriers break down barriers.
Text & Translation: Ruby Irene Pratka
Photo credits: Yann Levy / SOS MEDITERRANEE