Without really subscribing to any specific religion there is one passage in the Quran that strikes me to be relevant to our venture to save lives – on water as well as on land.
“Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being – unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth – it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.” (Surah 5. Al-Maida, Ayah 32)
The one pointing me in this direction was a colleague in the Search and Rescue business, Capt. Udo Fox, head of DGzRS – the German Sea Rescue. Even though the first section might be ambiguous the second is not. Saving lives is indeed a divine activity that should be embraced. On the other hand, slaying (innocent) lives is a direct attack on mankind. The recent two attacks on innocent people in and around Mpeketoni in Kenya are good examples of crimes against the Quran done in its very own name…
I carry this piece of Islamic wisdom with me, non-discriminatory across religious boundaries, across continents, across social status. Any and all lives at danger are worth saving, and like saving all mankind.