Israelis Rescue Syrian Refugees Off Greek Coast

After discovering boy floating off Greek island, Israelis traveling in yacht back from Turkey rescue survivors from overturned rubber boat.

Cynthia Blank ,

Migrants Disembarking
Migrants Disembarking

A group of Israelis sailing from Turkey back to Israel rescued a Syrian refugee off the coast of Greece on Sunday morning, Channel 2 reports. 

After hearing a cry for help, the Israelis aboard the yacht noticed an 11-year-old Syrian boy floating in the water alone. They pulled him into the ship and set about looking for his family who had been aboard a sunken rubber boat. 

When the Israelis arrived at the site of the sinking, they found several survivors as well as dead bodies floating in the sea. 

The Israelis rescued all the survivors - some dozen refugees from Iraq and Syria - and handed them over to Greek authorities on shore. 

Israelis traveling aboard the yacht described the heartbreaking scene to Channel 2. 

"Shortly before dawn, we found a boy floating in the water and shouting for help in English...we realized he was a survivor from a sunken ship," Shlomo Asaban recounted.

"We thought he was alone and brought him aboard. He told us that his brother was dead and he didn't know where he was...we continued to a Greek island near Turkey. On the way, just 500 meters from there, we discovered a group floating above the water."

"Unfortunately, we encountered a not so easy case," passenger Gal Baruch added. "It was especially difficult for me to remove an 18-month-old baby from the waters." 

"When his mother came aboard the boat and I brought her the baby - it was a horrible site. She grieved for her baby in our boat. I won't forget that image for all of my life. Heartbreaking. We brought them out of the sea in tears."