• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugee crisis
Swedish volunteers rescue 1000 refugees
A previous rescue attempt in the Mediterranean. Photo: TT

Swedish volunteers rescue 1000 refugees

The Local · 22 Jan 2016, 16:42

Published: 22 Jan 2016 16:42 GMT+01:00

The Yellow Boats project, known as Gula Båtarna in Swedish, was launched last autumn, at the height of Europe's refugee crisis.
 
Part-funded by media company Schibsted and run by the non-profit Swedish Sea Rescue Society (Sjöräddningssällskapet), the initiative involves trained volunteers travelling to waters around the Greek island of Samos, a popular arrival point in Europe for people fleeing violence in Syria and other war-torn nations.
 
On Friday morning, Sjöräddningssällskapet revealed that one of its boats had rescued 34 people in an operation that took the total lives saved by the Swedish project to 1000.
 
"First we went to a small peninsula where were able to pick up 29 people. Almost immediately afterwards we got an alarm from a boat in distress. After a short search we located a very tiny inflatable boat with four men in it," Kari Oikarinen, a spokesperson for Gula Båtarna, told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet (which is owned by Schibsted) on Friday.
 
"It went very well. Those rescued were very tired, they fell asleep almost immediately when they come aboard our boat," he added.
 
Andreas Arvidsson, COO of Sjöräddningssällskapet, told Aftonbladet that rescuers had been out "almost daily" since the project got under way, either collecting people stranded in the water "or from places where they had gone ashore and had not been able to get away again without the risk of dying".
 
Sweden -- which has long had a global reputation for openness and tolerance -- took in more asylum seekers per capita than any other EU nation last year, many of whom crossed Europe to seek new lives in the northern country after first making dangerous sea crossings to Greece and Italy.
 
However the Yellow Boats project continues as Swedes become increasingly divided over how the Nordic nation and the rest of Europe should be reacting to the ongoing refugee crisis.
 
Story continues below…
One recent opinion poll showed that around 41 percent of respondents thought Sweden should grant fewer residency permits, compared to just 29 percent in September 2015.
 
Sweden introduced border controls on November 12th resulting in a fall in the number of arrivals, with this dropping even further after migrants were forced to show ID on trains, buses and ferries entering the country in a separate move starting on January 4th.
 
Earlier this week the Swedish Migration Agency said that refugee arrival numbers had dropped from a weekly peak of nearly 10,000 in October to around 100 per day.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Ikea threatens to shelve Russia growth plans
Everything Moscow. Photo: Maxim Murmur/AP

Will the Swedish furniture goliath retract its rubles?

Swedish police brace for 'unpredictable' pope
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Nobody knows quite what to expect when Pope Francis visits secular Sweden this autumn.

Could this Swedish finding help cure alcoholism?
What causes alcohol dependency? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Scientists hope their findings will end the stigmatization of alcoholism.

Man jailed for six years for asylum home arson
The district court in Västmanland. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A court in western Sweden has sentenced a 28-year-old asylum seeker to six years in jail for starting a fire at the asylum centre where he lived.

Volvo on hunt for 400 new engineers in Sweden
Want to help build one of these? Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Want to work in Sweden?

Swedish hearts fail on Mondays and at Christmas
Tell me why I don't like Mondays. Photo: Marcus Lindblad/SvD/TT

July is Sweden's most heart-warming month.

Woman told she's not Swedish enough for a job
A sun bather wears a Swedish flag hat to celebrate National Day. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's discrimination watchdog is on the case.

Really hungry elk wreak havoc in Swedish forests
Om-nom-nom. Photo: AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

"It's an emergency situation."

Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers
Visitors are flocking to Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Business travellers have been flocking to city hotels in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm this summer.

Opinion
'More men must stand up against abuse in Sweden'
Equality Minister Åsa Regnér. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden's equality minister Åsa Regnér on why the government is introducing a new strategy on male violence against women.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
How good is Sweden for expat life?
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Landskrona, Skåne
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,396
jobs available