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Syrian refugee swims for 7 hours to start new life in Europe

A desperate Syrian refugee has revealed how he braved massive waves and deadly currents to swim for seven hours to reach Greece from Turkey.

Ameer Mehtr explained he did not have enough money to pay smugglers to transport him to Europe after his family lost their home and were left penniless as a result of the five-year civil war ravaging his homeland.

Having previously trained with the Syrian national swimming team in the capital Damascus, Mr Mehtr realised his only chance of starting a new life in the EU was to take his chances swimming the four miles across the Aegan Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos.

The refugee, whose age was not clear, spent several months preparing for the perilous crossing, training nearly every day with a swimming coach in the sea off the coast of Lebanese capital Beirut, where he had been living after fleeing Syria in May.

read the rest on: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/syrian-refugee-ameer-mehtr-swims-for-7-hours-to-start-new-life-in-europe-a6781276.html