At the Deadliest Border in the World

An American ex-pat and his Italian wife bought a boat and set up a freelance Coast Guard based in Malta to pluck migrants at risk of drowning from the Mediterranean Sea. They did OK at it, and even got an Austrian to donate the use of a military-grade drone for spotting imperiled ships and rafts before they sank. So, as they geared up for a full summer of rescue operations, I flew to Malta to learn how they planned to sustain the effort, and to use their DIY approach to examine why Europe had mustered such a weak response to the greatest humanitarian crisis in my lifetime. Two years later, MOAS has rescued more than 33,000 people, but has also been criticized for encouraging the unrelenting flow of refugees.