On one recent and frightening day, two boats maneuvered close to each other in the Aegean Sea.
In one boat stood a mother, holding her baby. In the other stood an Australian volunteer lifeguard named Simon Lewis.
The mother, desperate, wanted to throw her baby the 15 feet or so to Lewis — maybe to guarantee the infant had a better life, or maybe just to ensure the child survived the crossing.
The migrants were trying to get to the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey, thereby reaching the European Union.
And here was the problem: If Lewis caught and took the baby back to Lesbos, he knew, he could be charged with people smuggling, even though the mother and child had already crossed into Greek waters.
So, unable to help, he put distance between his boat and the other, telling the mother no.
“And she looked at me like that,” Lewis told CNN, indicating with two fingers a direct gaze. “Those eyes. And you know, she stared me down, and I will never forget that moment. We broke this poor lady’s heart — I broke this poor lady’s heart. You know, not receiving her baby in the middle of the Aegean Sea.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Don Melvin and Sara Delgrossi