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Firefighter who saved 8,000 refugees says Government created 'world's deadliest border'

By Lucy Thornton

A firefighter who has helped save 8,000 migrants at sea has slammed the Government for creating the “world’s deadliest border”.

Brendan Woodhouse, 45, who ­volunteers onboard the SeaWatch3 in the Mediterranean, said he has seen hundreds die during his 10 missions.

In one rescue the dad-of-two swam towards a baby floating facedown in the water, and managed to resuscitate her.

More recently, he rescued 38 people, including two pregnant women who were seconds from death after their boat sank.

There had been 55 people when they set off from Libya.

One slipped under the water before they could reach him, while others were screaming for help.

The firefighter volunteers with the Sea Quest rescue patrols in the Mediterranean (SWNS.com)

Brendan spoke out as he received the ­Solidarity medal from the Fire Brigades Union.

The volunteer, of Matlock, Derbys, said: “I’ve seen hundreds die – it’s been brutal. I attended a shipwreck a few weeks ago, and there was a boy called Samuel. He’s one of the ones who died – 24,000 people have died out there. But it’s not by ­accident, it’s ­orchestrated by ­governments including this one.

“When I first started doing this in 2016 we had rescue boats. In 2017 they changed the policy and took those boats away. Our border is the deadliest in the world and we’ve made it happen.”

Brendan uses his annual leave to join rescue missions (Daily Mirror)

The army medical reservist added: “Nobody should have to risk their lives at sea, in unseaworthy boats, with no life jackets, for a journey that I can simply find a flight online.

“Our borders simply aren’t worth sacrificing our principles for. We would not allow this to happen if the people drowning were white!”

The FBU also gave a medal to former shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Tam McFarlane, Fire Brigades Union national officer, said: ­“Solidarity is at the heart of our union. Brendan and John personify solidarity. The have worked tirelessly to help build a better world.”

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Dive Deeper:
At least 11 people dead after boat carrying Haitian migrants capsizes near Puerto Rico
At least 11 people died and 31 people were rescued after a boat carrying Haitian migrants overturned Thursday near an…
A court case against migrant activists in Italy offers a reminder – not all refugees are welcome in Europe
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AMP said the blaze broke out at around 10.20 a.m. on Wednesday on a vessel belonging to the company Rocmar…
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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