( ENSPIRE NEWS ) Former Model Saves Syrian Family from Drowning
A former model said she learned the value of human life when she helped rescue a Syrian refugee on the brink of exhaustion after 13 hours in the waters off the Greek coast.
Sandra Tsiligeridu, her husband and a group of friends were returning in a boat to the island of Kos from a day-trip when she spotted a man in the water.
“We saw hands break the surface of the water and my husband thought It was a diver so he started steering away so as not to hit him,” Tsiligeridu told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
‘But I realized he was in difficulty and began to shout.’
Mohamed Besmar apparently got separated from his own boat when he dived in the water to retrieve a lost paddle.
Thirty-nine other people on his boat made it safely to Kos and reported him missing, but authorities presumed he was dead after a five-hour search.
Tsiligeridu, 42, said she helped pull Besmar onto the boat, and a doctor aboard administered first aid. They gave him dry clothes and blankets to keep him warm until they reached Kos.
Besmar was reunited with his family.
Later, they learned that 11 Syrians died nearby when two boats sank.
“He grabbed my hand and said ‘thank you,'” Tsiligeridu said. “That ‘thank you’ is something I will personally never forget.”
She shared a picture of herself cradling him in her arms that went viral on Facebook.
‘He was done in and in a hypothermic state, shaking. He asked me why I had tears in my eyes and I said I was crying for him. He was struck dumb.’
She said meeting Besmar has changed her perspective — and her life.
“Before I met Mohammed I was angry and sad at the scenes I saw on television. I asked myself ‘Why do they come here?’ Now I think something else.”