Rescue at sea appeal

Save the Children staff save a baby from the Mediterranean

Nurse Marina holds three-month-old baby, Ali* as his mother waits to be checked by a doctor on board our life-saving ship.

Help save children’s lives at sea:

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Or call 0800 8148 148 to donate by phone


Children are drowning in the Mediterranean as they flee danger.

More than 4,800 people, including 600 children, drowned in the Mediterranean last year. But this is just an estimate because children's small bodies quickly disappear below the waves and are rarely recovered.

No child should face a terrifying journey like this, but more families than ever before tried to reach Europe last year.

That's why we launched a rescue ship that's already saved more than 2,700 people - including almost 500 children.

How your money helps

  • Our ship rescues children and their families from the water.
  • On board the ship we give them emergency medical treatment, food, water and clothes. And we have a safe space for children to rest, play and recover.
  • More than 90% of children travelling to Italy are alone. So we have experts on board to give them emotional support and practical help.
  • We then bring them to the nearest safe port in Italy.
  • Our teams in Italy - who have been responding to the refugee crisis for eight years - make sure the most vulnerable children get specialist help.

But we need your support to keep the ship running and save thousands of lives.

Amena's story

Photo: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children

Five-year-old Amena* from Syria was rescued by Save the Children’s search and rescue vessel in October 2016, to be flown to hospital in Italy.

Amena’s family could no longer afford her medical bills (roughly 100 Syrian pounds per day) and had to leave war-torn Syria together.

At the time of rescue, Amena was suffering from a heart condition and severe asthma. She was rescued with her mother, while her father and brother had to stay on the ship, on its way back to Italy.

The family feared being separated for good, but after arriving in Sicily, Save the Children worked to reunite them. Amena has made a full recovery and is with her family seeking asylum in Europe.

Help save children’s lives at sea:

Donate NowDonate by

Or call 0800 8148 148 to donate by phone

Your donation will be used to help children and families we can save at sea. If donations exceed the appeal target, they'll be used to help vulnerable children affected by the refugee crisis.

*Names changed to protect identities.

Last updated: April 2017.