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Patrick Witty's Dramatic Photos Capture What It's Like To Arrive As A Refugee

Photographer Patrick Witty captured the arrival of refugees onto the Greek island of Lesbos for BuzzFeed News.

Posted on September 29, 2015, at 12:28 p.m. ET

Patrick Witty For Buzzfeed News

An aid worker rushes to assist a boat filled with refugees as it lands on the coast of Lesbos, Greece. Thousands of people arriving by boat have passed through the island this year.

Each day, rickety boats land laden with people seeking a path into Europe. The Greek island of Lesbos, which is off the coast of Turkey, offers an alternate route to the long land journey through Eastern Europe.

Photographer Patrick Witty captured the crisis for BuzzFeed News, focusing on what the journey across the island would look like for the thousands of refugees.

The new arrivals walk from boat to camp, where they are bused to a port on the other end of the island where a ferry awaits to take them to Athens. The Greek officials are largely absent from the process until the people arrive at the port, where they are registered and fingerprinted before boarding the ferry.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

An aid worker rushes to assist a boat filled with refugees as it lands on the coast of Lesbos, Greece. Depending on where the boats land, aid workers and journalists scramble to meet the boat along the rocky coast of Lesbos, Greece.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A woman is helped to the shore after a boat filled with refugees landed on the shore of Lesbos, Greece.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Refugees scramble off the boat, passing the children to the shore.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Refugees embrace after landing on the coast of Lesbos, Greece. Hundreds arrived on Sept. 27, 2015. The trip is perilous, rowing across on an overcrowded boat. Many of the boats are inflatable and not intended for such a journey.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A mother removes a life jacket made from Styrofoam blocks and tape from her daughter after landing in Lesbos, Greece.

Patrick Witty

A woman carries her child to safety after landing on the coast of Lesbos, Greece.

Patrick Witty For Buzzfeed News

Refugees makes selfies after landing on the coast of Lesbos, Greece. This is a common occurrence with the tech-savvy migrants making their way to Europe.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A refugee rests along the coast as he makes the walk towards a camp to wait for a bus to Mytilini, a larger town at the other end of the island of Lesbos.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

An aid worker waves a discarded life jacket in an attempt to guide a boat filled with refugees to the coast. Once landed, the refugees want nothing to do with the boats. Many of the inflatable ones are dismantled for parts, which are later sold.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A discarded piece of clothing along the dirt road towards the village of Molyvos, Greece, where buses transport refugees to the ferry in Mytilini.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A discarded passport photo on the shore of Lesbos, Greece. No Greek officials meet the refugees when they land on the island, the only official checkpoint is when they are leaving.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A family of Syrian refugees walk along a dirt road towards a refugee camp in Molyvos, Greece, where buses transport them to the ferry in Mytilini. The walk is several miles long.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

A volunteer from Norway assists in raising shelter at the Oxy Camp in Molyvos, Greece. Refugees wait here for the bus to Mytilini.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Refugees under the tents at Oxy Camp in Molyvos, Greece. Several camps are set up on the Greek Island of Lesbos for the hundreds of refugees arriving daily.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Refugees wait in line for bus to Mytilini at the Oxy Camp in Molyvos, Greece.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Men and women aboard the bus to Mytilini. Once in Mytilini, the refugees register with Greek authorities and wait to board a ferry to Athens.

Patrick Witty for BuzzFeed News

Refugees camp out in the parking lot next to the ferry in Mytilini, Greece.

Patrick Witty

Refugees camp out near the Eleftherios Venizelos, in Mytilini, Greece. The ship is transporting 2500 refugees to Athens. The schedule is irregular, adding to the confusion.

Patrick Witty

Refugees sleep throughout the ship during the 10 hour journey to Athens.

Patrick Witty

A man looks out on the horizon at the rear of the El. Venizelos on the journey to Athens. Many refugees choose to sleep on the deck due to the temperature inside the ship.

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