Refugee crisis hasn’t stopped

Eric Kempson is battling to save lives on the Greek island of Lesbos
Eric Kempson is battling to save lives on the Greek island of Lesbos
Picture: SWNS

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A FORMER Portsmouth resident battling to save lives on the front line of the refugee crisis in Greece has warned that the problem is far from over.

Eric Kempson and his family are helping to tackle the humanitarian issue on the doorstep of their home in Eftalou, on the island of Lesbos.

The 61-year-old said the boats are still coming, and during winter they are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite.

Speaking about the mountain of used life jackets close to his home, Mr Kempson said there were at least 150,000 in the pile.

‘It is not as big now as it was. It looks impressive, but before it was unbelievable.

‘For us and for the volunteers, it is quite a place.

‘It brings back a lot of memories, a lot of screaming, a lot of shouting, a lot of crying – and the bodies.’

Along with his wife Philippa, 44, and their daughter Elleni, 18, the family moved to Lesbos more than 16 years ago and now run the Hope Project in a bid to help support arriving boats.

‘A lot people think it is over with, but it has never stopped.’