Crew profiles – Nick
Our professional and specialist crew is an important part of what makes MOAS the field-leading organization it has become. We are proud of our team on the front lines and we are constantly getting questions about the kind of people we have on board and the various positions they fill. This new weekly profile will introduce you to members of our team and give you an insight into their background and role on board.
During my work in the Caribbean, there might have been a maximum of 12 people in the water in a given moment. Here, it can be up to 160 people on rubber boats, or 500 on the wooden boats
This week we have look through the window into the life of our Rescue Swimmer and Able-Bodied Seaman Nick.
“My name is Nick and I am an Able-Bodied Seaman – or ‘AB’ – and a Rescue Swimmer on board the Responder. An AB is someone who performs general duties on board a ship, for instance standing watch, handling lines, and maintaining the deck.
With MOAS, my role also involves leaving the Responder on our rescue launch, the Fast Rescue Daughter Craft (FRDC), and assisting during rescue operations. While on the FRDC, my role as a rescue swimmer also comes into play; my job is to enter the water and assist when somebody’s life is in danger.
“The difference between my work for MOAS and my previous jobs is the sheer number of people who need assistance at one time. During my work in the Caribbean, there might have been a maximum of 12 people in the water in a given moment. Here, it can be up to 160 people on rubber boats, or 500 on the wooden boats.”
One rescue particularly stands out for me. A couple of months ago, we assisted a wooden boat that had left Libya during the very early hours of the morning. At around 4am we began the rescue, leaving the Responder on the FRDC. When we reached the vessel, we asked the migrants to remain seated and calm, and distributed lifejackets. I then boarded the vessel and we began to evacuate people.
As we continued, people began to come up from below deck, dragging up individuals who had fallen unconscious because of the lack of oxygen and the fuel fumes. The large number of casualties meant that the crew had to perform CPR alongside the medical team, but we could not save everyone. The Italian Forces were also at the scene with a helicopter to airlift those people who were gravely ill. The whole rescue lasted a few hours.
See Nick at work in the video below:
If you have a question for Nick, or the rest of our team, simply #AskMOAS on social media. For all the MOAS news and updates sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page. Finally, support our rescue missions by giving whatever you can to help us save lives at sea.