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One man’s story of saving migrant lives at sea.

by Paul Chamberlain

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One man’s story of saving migrant lives at sea



Norfolk man Paul Chamberlain is perhaps the UK’s most experienced rescue swimmer. With charity MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) he’s helped rescue more than 6,000 men, women and children adrift in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2016 it is estimated that more than 200,000 people made the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe. Many were fleeing brutally oppressive regimes and almost 5,000 are thought to have drowned. They often spend their life savings getting help to cross first the Sahara, then to set sail to cross the sea to Europe. Abuse is common and many find themselves adrift, having run out of fuel on a dangerously overloaded ship or inflatable. Paul decided to write his story to raise awareness of the true horror of this humanitarian disaster.


Paul’s book will be hard hitting yet compassionate. It will describe in sometimes graphic detail the reality of rescuing migrants from often woefully inadequate craft. It will take you to the very front line of the battle to save migrant lives. Discover how charity MOAS was founded and why supporting its work is so important.

To publish The Accidental Rescuer Paul has teamed up with social entrepreneur Robert Ashton. He created the Turnpike Press to give voice to those striving to deliver positive social change.  The book will be published late Spring 2017 and be available from Amazon and many independent bookshops. Cover price will be £14.99.



Paul has already talked to school students about his work. His photos of those he’s rescued speak volumes for their gratitude at being saved, sometimes after several days adrift. Working with groups of up to 100 students (ideally KS3 or KS4) he can bring the migrant crisis to life. Even sitting on the floor, occupying just the space each migrant has on an inflatable, brings home the reality of this crisis. Paul can map his sessions against the curriculum, covering PHSE, Geography, Maths, Science and English.


• 100 copies of The Accidental Rescuer when published

• Paul Chamberlain working with up to 100 students for one day

Schools can sell their 100 copies at cover price to recoup their investment. This makes the session with Paul free! Alternatively they can sell copies, and we can send more, to raise money for MOAS (who receive no Government funding at all).


Before embarking on his Mediterranean adventure Paul worked running team-development workshops for corporate clients. He can work with your team, exporing the business of rescue. The organisation of a rescue mission requires careful planning. It can help your team see their work challenges from a fresh perspective.

There are a wealth of ways your organisation can support both the publication of this book and the work of MOAS. Email Robert to discuss how we can help you, help us. 


You can pre-order your copy of the book by visiting our online shop. We wil post it to you directly it is published in May 2017. At least £2.00 from the sale of each book will go to support the work of MOAS. To sponsor the work of MOAS in other ways, email Robert and let's talk.

To discuss your sponsorship package please contact