Sincere thanks to and admiration for the soldiers manning the boats who rescued 180 people from near certain death out at sea today. The soldiers have better boats than the migrants but the forecast storms are a danger to everyone.

This New Year’s Eve another 49 rescued people and the crew who picked them up from near death will remain out at sea bracing for the bad weather. Politics is leaving them stranded on the rolling water. They were saved on the other side of an imaginary line that exists only on maps and now no European port will let them in.

Their choice is between risking death by drowning or perhaps a worse end if they return to the shores of Libya which they spent everything they ever had to run away from.

There won’t be fireworks and auld lang syne. Only the fear of death in the cold and dark between a hell they ran away from and a heaven they climbed to only to find its gates shut.

If you can, while this happens in the water that surrounds your life, have a happy new year celebration tonight.