A memorable night

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 12 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4359
  1. Frances Gillies, civilian medical practitioner, Station Medical Centre, RAF Akrotiri, Akrotiri, Cyprus
  1. fgillies{at}

    Some years ago, I was the doctor on call for primary and prehospital emergency care. An evening call came in: “Boat carrying refugees has run aground in local waters. Many stranded at cliff bottom.”

    I declined to be winched down to the boat, knowing that the rescued passengers would need to come up sooner or later. They were ferried to a makeshift reception centre, and I made my way there, wondering what to expect. I was not …

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