Drowned Baby a Crushing Symbol of Migrant Crisis

[World News ★★★]


(P1) The figure bobbing in the water looked “like a doll, arms outstretched.” But what German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch pulled from the Mediterranean Sea on Friday was not a doll. “I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once,” says a rescuer, who’s seen cradling the baby in a photo that’s quickly becoming a symbol of Europe’s devastating migrant crisis. “It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes.” The child, it isn’t clear if it was a boy or a girl, was likely less than a year old and was on a boat traveling from Libya to Italy when it capsizedreports Reuters. There were 135 survivors, but at least 44 others died, including two other infants, reports the Sun.

(P2) “I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heartrending moment,” the rescuer, a father of three, adds. The body, photographed by a media company aboard the rescue boat, was then turned over to the Italian navy, along with 25 others Sea-Watch recovered. “It’s always a difficult decision to publish such a picture, but we thought that this material needs to be published because what we see here is the effect of European foreign policy,” a Sea-Watch rep tells Reuters, per CBS News. “The calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service,” the group adds. “If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them.”

WORDS: 272

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/225908/drowned-baby-a-crushing-symbol-of-migrant-crisis.html

VOCABULARY: bobbing, outstretched, forearm, cradling, capsized, incomprehensible, heartrending, effect


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How would you feel if you were the rescuer pulling the baby from the water?
  3. Do you think enough is being done to help the migrants? Why or why not?
  4. In your opinion, what should be done to help the migrants?


  1. What did the baby resemble?
  2. The child was in the Red Sea. (T or F)
  3. Was the child male or female?
  4. How many children does the rescuer have?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Held out (P1)
  • Turned over (P2)
  • Sum-up (P2)
  • Lip service (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by Christian Buttner/EIKON NORD GMBH GERMANY via AP http://www.newser.com/story/225908/drowned-baby-a-crushing-symbol-of-migrant-crisis.html

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