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November 30, 2021 
A Libyan man, who suffered severe burns when he fought a fire on a boat of migrants, and his daughter,... 
Mediterranean Sea, Mid-Sea 
Pictures of the Year: A Picture and its Story 
A Libyan man, who suffered severe burns when he fought a fire on a boat of migrants, and his daughter, also injured in the fire, wait to be medically evacuated by the Italian Coast Guard from the German NGO migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, off the coast of Lampedusa island in the western Mediterranean Sea, July 30, 2021. Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi: "I spent several weeks during the summer of 2021 on board the NGO migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, operating in the central Mediterranean. During that time, we carried out several rescue operations. The second rescue took place at sunrise on July 30 - a boat carrying 64 people off the Libyan coast. We arrived at the small overcrowded wooden vessel, the migrants had horrific burns caused by a fire. Someone had been smoking a cigarette close to some jerry cans full of fuel, and one of them suddenly ignited. Without a moment's hesitation, Osama, a Libyan man travelling with his wife and six children, had grabbed hold of the tank as it was engulfed in flames and flung it overboard. His action in my eyes makes him a hero and undoubtedly saved lives. But Osama was severely burned on his arms and legs. His 12-year-old son was left in critical condition with horrendous burns all over his body and two of his daughters were badly burnt on their hands and feet. What I witnessed will stay with me for a very long time. The sight of burnt flesh peeling off people as they groan, moan, cry, scream in unspeakable agony is not something one forgets. Later that evening, with Osama's son rapidly deteriorating, and the very real fear that he would not survive the night, the Italian Coast Guard agreed to medevac him to Lampedusa together with 14 other injured people and family members. This photo was taken as we waited for the medevac to take place. In tears, Osama tightly held onto his 16-year-old daughter, both very clearly in pain and under intense shock, a paradoxical moment of poignant, heart rending, exquisite silent beauty 
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