Coldplay debuted a short film promoting the work of refugee aid agency Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) featuring an a cappella version of “Don’t Panic” on Thursday (Feb. 2). The band pledged to be a long-term patron for MOAS, which is credited with saving an estimated 33,000 refugees and migrants fleeing persecution and war in the Middle East with search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, according to The Guardian.
“Every year, MOAS rescue thousands of people who risk death at sea while searching for a better life. But for an accident of geography, those people could be us and we could be them. For this reason, we’re proud to support Moas’ life-saving work,” says singer Chris Martin. The majority of the refugees saved by MOAS over the past two years — often saved from overcrowded, unsafe rubber dinghies — were from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. The latter two countries were among those included on the list of nations on President Trump’s recent temporary 90-day ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations; the controversial order also blocks any refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, including those from war-ravaged Syria, who are indefinitely barred.
According to the the UN Migration Agency, 5,079 refugees and migrants drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean last year, a number some experts think might be an underestimate. In the short fundraising film, Martin sings “Don’t Panic” over footage of a recent water rescue. MOAS founder Regina Catrambone told the Guardian the band believed it was important to release the film in light of recent political developments.
“We are very grateful for Coldplay for believing so strongly in our cause,” she said. “MOAS is a young organization that in a few years has managed to make a significant difference in mitigating one of the most heart-breaking humanitarian tragedies of our era. However, there is still so much to be done. Coldplay’s support will allow our work to reach the hearts of a wider audience worldwide.”
The film depicts a chilling nighttime rescue of migrant families crowded onto a boat to the sounds of the Coldplay song, highlighted by Martin’s unadorned voice singing “we live in a beautiful world, yeah we do, yeah we do,” as the words “no one deserves to die at sea” and “the people MOAS rescue are just like us” flash on the screen.
Check out the video: