Both were rescued in a 48-hour period in which over 10,000 people were assisted by search and rescue operations while attempting the Central Mediterranean crossing.
Although Lucky and Mary left the beaches of Libya on the same night, they were placed in separate wooden boats by the smugglers who had promised them a safe journey to Europe. Lucky’s boat was rescued by MOAS in the early hours of the morning. Immediately, he asked the MOAS crew and the Red Cross team on board to help him find his fiancée. Having realised the huge danger of their situation – he now knew that there was no way either of their unseaworthy boats could have ever reached Europe – he had to wait for several excruciating hours before Mary’s boat was finally rescued by the Responder.
Lucky and Mary claimed they were forced to flee Nigeria over threats of death. For Lucky, the time came when his mother was killed and he feared that he would be targeted next. For Mary, an orphan, it was when life with her abusive uncle became too much to bear. When the Red Cross asked Mary why she loved Lucky, she replied, "He was there when there was no hope". Now, the couple’s hope is that they will be able to build a safe and secure life in Europe