Baby Born at Sea Under 'Extraordinary Circumstances' After Being Rescued From Overcrowded Boat
Meet Newman Otas, the miracle baby boy born in international waters just hours after his family was rescued from an overcrowded rubber boat at sea.
"The birth went quite well," said Sarah Giles, the Doctors Without Borders midwife who delivered the baby. "It was a pretty normal birth under really extraordinary circumstances."
According to Doctors Without Borders, Newman's Nigerian parents, Otas and Faith, were travelling across the Mediterranean Sea with their two older children, ages 7 and 5, who were sick at the time of the birth.
Faith said she had been having contractions for three days, but it was not until she boarded the rubber dinghy with her family that she felt the baby coming: "I was very stressed on the rubber boat, sitting on the floor of the boat with the other women and children. I could feel my baby moving. He would move down and then move back up again."
Another midwife involved with the birth, Jonquil Nicholl, said, " I am filled with horror at the thought of what would have happened if this baby had arrived 24 hours earlier in that unseaworthy rubber boat."
She said there were sick children and people vomiting on the 140-passenger boat, which could have threatened the health of baby Newman had he been born on the dinghy. The boat was also filled with sea water and diesel fuel — a dangerous combination that can cause the skin to burn.
Luckily, the passengers travelling from Libya were discovered by rescue ship Aquarius.
Within 24 hours, baby Newman was born on international waters, aboard the rescue ship.
"They came off the ship as a family — mother, father, three children — which is really nice," Giles told the Associated Press. "The mother and baby are great."