Shipwreck in the Ionian Sea, little Nalina embraces her savior. The meeting in the Locri hospital where they are hospitalized


By John

A long, silent hug, full of emotion, far from prying eyes other than the loving ones of doctors, nurses and mediators. It is what for interminable minutes tied Nalina, the 10-year-old Iraqi girl who escaped the sinking of the sailing boat on which she was traveling with her family – who are now missing – to Ismail, a 22-year-old Syrian and her savior.

After the shipwreck which occurred in the open sea, 120 miles from the Calabrian coast, the young man saw the little girl in difficulty and rescued her, managing to make her cling to the semi-submerged wreck until the first aid arrived.. Now, the two found themselves in the Locri hospital where they are both hospitalized, and Ismail wanted to go and say hello to his new little friend. It was the same child, after her hospitalization, who said she had fallen into the water and had been saved “by a migrant boy”, Ismail precisely. The little girl, thanks to the help of a foreign interpreter who collaborates with medical and healthcare personnel and who knows the Arabic, Kurdish and Persian languages ​​well, said she saw her “two younger brothers, a girl and a boy, end up in the sea and disappear among the waves.”

Nalina he also has memories of his young parents and reported seeing them “feeling sick, very sick, after the shipwreck” but then, with the arrival of the darkness of the night, not being able to “see them anymore, nor know what happened to them ». According to other survivors, the boat left on the evening of June 11th from the Turkish tourist port of Bodrum, the “White City”, with over 70 Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani and Syrian migrants on board. The shipwreck after just over three days of navigation in the Ionian Sea, approximately 75-80 miles from the Greek coast and 120 from the Italian coast.

In the Locri hospital, in addition to Nalina and Ismail, a third survivor is also hospitalized, Wafa, a Kurd of around twenty years old, hospitalized in orthopaedics, while Ismail, a 22-year-old Syrian, in the pneumatology department and Nalina in pediatrics. Ismail and Wafa said that due to «the excessive weight caused by the many people who were on board and the very rough sea and the gigantic waves, the sailing boat, after about three days of travel, began to take on a lot of water» . At the mercy of the sea and with the engine broken and then probably exploded, the boat was tossed by the waves causing “the fall and subsequent disappearance into the sea of ​​a large part of the migrants”, many of whom were women, young people and children, at least 26.