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article imageHolidaymakers made human chain to save migrants in Sicily

By Anne Sewell     Aug 18, 2013 in World
Syracuse - Beach-goers on Morghella beach in Syracuse, Sicily created a human chain into the sea to help save 160 boat migrants from Syria, after a swimmer alerted the coastguard to their plight.
Reportedly there were a number of pregnant women and around 50 young children on board the boat, which ran aground on Thursday.
While waiting for the coast guard to arrive, beach-goers formed a human chain in the water to help the migrants ashore.
In the video above, new arrivals can be seen first climbing into a rescue boat, and then being helped by locals through the waves.
Italian president Giorgio Napolitano praised those who assisted the Syrian refugees ashore in Sicily, saying:
“The images aired by television channels of dozens of swimmers that from the beach pushed out generously to assist refugees coming from Syria, many of which were children, to reach the shore and safety, do Italy proud."
“This shows how, when faced by tragedy – which is experienced on a daily basis on (the stepping-stone island of) Lampedusa and elsewhere with arrivals of those escaping from wars and persecutions – a sense of humanity and solidarity prevails in Italians, stronger than any sense of prejudice or fear.”
That same day, Angelino Alfano, Italy’s interior minister, had stated that almost 9,000 migrants had arrived in Italy during the period from July 1 to August 10 this year. During 2012, more than 24,000 migrants arrived in Italy, according to the minister.
More about Italy, Sicily, Syrian, Migrants, human chain
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