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Those boyz know how to please each other

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The youngest child was three-month-old baby Success. The boat is taking in water and soon it will fold at the middle. Max Avis, deputy search-and-rescue leader for the team at the rescue boat Aquarius, has just arrived.

Many people are panicking and at any moment they might start to jump in the water. Smiling, he stands up in the speedboat, and stretches his arms out in a welcoming gesture. He tells everyone to sit down. And that they have to help each other with the rescue vests.

When Betsy and some of the other women have been seated Those boyz know how to please each other are on their way to Aquarius they start singing. With their hands aimed at the sky they praise the Lord for letting them and their children survive. A few nautical miles away another overcrowded rubber boat goes under. Eighty-two people disappear in the Mediterranean this Friday morning. Nicola Stalla is sleeping in his cabin when the alarm goes off.

A rubber boat twenty minutes away is in distress.

We hope for a speedy...

And as always, Nico, who is search-and-rescue leader, takes the call. The first one lasted for two and a half months, and now he has been out here as long.

He is 38 years old and a capable seaman. For a long time Nico was deck manager on a ship Those boyz know how to please each other fresh fruit from the Caribbean to Europe. After fifteen years he went ashore to teach navigation. But he longed to get back to sea. Now he is hurrying up on the bridge to captain Wojciech to get the position of the rubber boat.

He starts the wake-up chain. Fifteen minutes later the crew is on their feet, together with the search-and-rescue team and medical staff from the humanitarian organisations SOS Méditerranée and Doctors without borders. There are thirty-three people on board. Everyone knows what to do. Life vests are prepared. The speedboats — small fast motor boats with rubber railings — are prepared to be put in the water.

They prepare for registration, and put their own safety equipment on: He sees the boat in distress. Behind it another boat is spotted. He calls the search-and-rescue leader.

When Nico calls a meeting on deck a few minutes later eight overcrowded boats have been spotted. More than a thousand people in need. He gathers the team in a tight circle around him. First of all they need to distribute the life vests, the single most crucial item for a successful search-and-rescue operation. The people who end up in the water without life vests risk drowning, the people wearing life vests manage by themselves for a while, and it takes time to get all the people in need to Aquarius.

Simultaneously the team needs to calm a situation that is usually worked up. The first question the people in the boats ask is usually if they will be sent back to Libya. Nico leads the work from the ship and needs a status report. How many children and women?

Is anyone in the water? Is their any medical emergency? Except dehydration, chemical burns are the most common.