As the Responder search and rescue ship docks in Augusta, Sicily, a young man collapses, shaking.
Brunella Pirozzi, the doctor in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies team checks him. It’s a panic attack. The team leads him to a seat and stays with him until he calms down a little. Bit by bit, the 22-year-old unclenches his fists and begins counting on his fingers.
“My two brothers. My mother. Killed in front of my eyes. Then they came for my sister.”
He pulls the neck of his shirt down to show a red scar.
“They stabbed me when I tried to stop them from taking her. I played dead so they didn’t kill me too.”
After fleeing for his life, the young man pays traffickers in Libya for a place on a boat to Europe. Just outside Libyan coastal waters, his boat is intercepted by the joint Red Cross and MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) operation.