The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Kaitlin Galindo.
My head pops out of a 1920s Greco-Turkish War military bunker atop a cliff side on the Greek island of Lesbos. It’s 35 degrees and the wind off the waves of the Aegean in front of me chills to the bone. Armed with a thermal imaging scope I scan the water. The mountains of Turkey tower just above the horizon. I see a coast guard ship, a freighter, a ferry, but not what I’m looking for. No dinghies tonight. Not yet.
Dinghies are the small plastic inflatable rafts with motors haphazardly secured to them that carry 30-50 crammed people across freezing water in the dead of night.
It is about as safe as it sounds.
Part of my work here is to spot dinghies that have made it into Greek waters. I make sure they are not capsizing and notify the rescue […]