A Series of Boats 2l - 'They did not want to hear us yell'


‘They did not want to hear us yell’

[imagecaption] ‘No Direction’, Syrian Stories, Australia, 2017, exhibited at VCA. Artist: Miream Salameh. [/imagecaption]


  • In another case, Vietnamese boat refugees flashed an SOS to the Australian naval vessel Vendetta. Australian sailors reportedly leaned over the rail to take photographs, but indicated they could not take the refugees aboard because their ship was on patrol. They provided them with some supplies and left. The following day the group counted 21 ships that passed without acknowledging their signals. 
  • In 2007, 27 people were forced to cling onto a tuna net for three days to survive after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. The captain of the commercial fishing trawler that was towing the net refused to allow them to board. One survivor recalled, ‘When we began shouting that we could no longer continue clinging to the nets, the fishermen lengthened the tow ropes they did not want to hear us yell, nor did they want to let us aboard.’ 
  • In 2013, a group of more than 480 people, who were mostly from Syria, were in a boat that capsized south of Lampedusa. They had alerted Italian authorities that they were in distress as early as five hours before their ship sank, however authorities refused to intervene for several hours. 268 people including around 60 children drowned.  


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