The woman from Cameroon was the survivor of a shipwreck and was clinging to a piece of wood for 48 hours.
Gasol was part of the Spanish nonprofit organization Proactiva Open Arms, whose mission is to rescue refugees and migrants trying to get to Europe from Africa and the Middle East.
"There were pieces of wood and clothes floating in the water," Gasol told The Guardian. "Then there was that woman, with her elbows resting on a wooden beam. Her eyes were lost in the void. She was weak and in shock. She had been clinging to that piece of wood with her last bit of strength and had remained that way for 48 hours. I thought of this woman, of her strength. And I felt anger."
Frustration, anger, and helplessness. It's unbelievable how so many vulnerable people are abandoned to their deaths at sea.— Marc Gasol (@MarcGasol) July 17, 2018
Deep admiration for these I call my teammates at this time @openarms_fund pic.twitter.com/TR0KnRsrTE
"Frustration, anger, and helplessness," Gasol tweeted along with a picture of himself (third from right) along with other crew members as they brought the survivor aboard the rescue ship about 90 miles off the coast of Libya.
"She would have died, after a few minutes, if we had not intervened," Gasol told the newspaper. "It was too important not to tell the world. ... I could no longer remain silent"
Gasol and other members of the crew jumped into the water to recover the bodies of two other migrants. The United Nations estimates that 1,410 people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.