This photo essay is a recent portrait of the dire conditions of primarily Syrian and Afghan refugees — struggling at sea against corrupt smugglers, dilapidated rafts, gas shortages, and now frigid waves — as they attempt to land in Lesbos. With wars ravaging Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, not even the changing seasons can deter the tens of thousands of desperate refugees making their way to Europe. As temperatures cool, families continue risk their lives at sea, boarding makeshift boats on the perilous journey from Turkey to Greece.
They make a deal for 30 persons onboard and then smugglers force them to jump on board until they’re more than 50-55, sometime 60 persons. Of course when they arrive, the boats are full of water and the engine often it’s not working properly or the fuel is not enough. Often the boats are voluntarily damaged by the smugglers to increase the fear.