Refugee Rescue is a skilled search and rescue, humanitarian and non-political NGO operating in Lesvos, Greece, helping thousands of refugees who are fleeing violence, war and persecution. Since 2015, Gecko Head Gear have been supplying Refugee Rescue with a mixture of open face, surf and cut away helmets to assist them in carrying out their search and rescue roles as safely as possible.
As of October 2017, Refugee Rescue is the last remaining professional search and rescue organization left on the northern shore of Lesvos and since major organizations have moved away, Refugee Rescue has constantly struggled to continue their operations.
People are still crossing the short stretch between Turkey and Lesvos every day. Dinghies often directly navigate towards dangerous rocks or shallows that can easily break the floor causing them to sink or capsize. Smugglers often abandon groups of refugees on rocks, islands and inaccessible beaches. There is no cliff rescue, no helicopter and people are often impossible to reach from land.
Last year alone 11,549 people landed on Lesvos. UNCHR has recorded 3,963 arrivals on the Greek islands since the start of 2018, including 2,027 on Lesvos. Arrivals during the months of January and February 2018 were 17% higher than in the same months in 2017.
Check out Refugee Rescue’s work here.