The gig rowers of Nankersey Rowing Club are asking for help as they undertake a symbolic row to raise awareness of the battle to prevent thousands of refugee deaths in the Mediterranean.
Nankersey Rowing Club is looking for support from other clubs and the general public as its members attempt a sponsored 12 mile row from Mylor to Truro and back, equal to the distance between Bodrum and Kos, following the tragic death of three year old Aylan Kurdi.
The crews are asking other rowers from around Falmouth, the Lizard, and further afield to sign up for the row next month to support the Migrant Offshore Aid Station: a charity which without government support saved the lives of thousands of people last year alone.
Jane Callaghan, coxswain of one of the crews taking part, said: “The death of Aylan Kurdi on a beach near Bodrum brought the refugee crisis home to many in the UK, and although in Cornwall we are hundreds of miles from the brutal reality of this crisis, recent charity efforts have shown how much the people of this county care.
“The row will be tough, but it is nothing compared to what the people who risk their lives in often rickety boats have to put up with, holed up under decks with little air, to avoid war and poverty and find a better life.
“Here in Cornwall we rely on and support the RNLI, who we always know have our backs if there is real trouble at sea. Nothing similar over there at all. MOAS saves lives just like the RNLI, and it deserves our support as fellow-seafarers.
Nankersey are trying to raise awareness of their plight, and of the work of the MOAS, as well as raising cash to help their work, so please give generously, or get your club along to row.”
The charity set up in 2014 and based on Malta, which operates a harm reduction operation in the Mediterranean, using a converted research vessel, two RIBs and two drones to save men, women and children who could well drown without their support. Last year over 3,400 people drowned trying to make these crossing, and in just 60 days last year MOAS saved over 3,000 lives.