Not less than 13 individuals died after a migrant boat capsized within the Aegean Sea late Friday, bringing the mixed dying toll from three accidents in as many days involving migrant boats in Greek waters to not less than 27.
The sinkings got here as smugglers more and more favour a dangerous route from Turkey to Italy, which avoids Greece’s closely patrolled japanese Aegean islands that for years have been on the forefront of the nation’s migration disaster.
The coast guard mentioned 62 individuals have been rescued after a sailboat capsized late Friday some eight kilometers (5 miles) off the island of Paros, within the central Aegean. Survivors instructed the coast guard that about 80 individuals had been on the vessel.
27 migrants useless after boat sinks crossing English Channel
5 coast guard patrol boats, 9 non-public vessels, a helicopter and a army transport aircraft continued the night-time seek for extra survivors, authorities mentioned, whereas coast guard divers additionally participated.
Smugglers based mostly in Turkey more and more have packed yachts with migrants and refugees and despatched them towards Italy.
Earlier, 11 individuals have been confirmed useless after a sailboat Thursday struck a rocky islet some 235 kilometers (145 miles) south of Athens, close to the island of Antikythera. The coast guard mentioned Friday that 90 survivors — 52 males, 11 ladies and 27 youngsters — have been rescued after spending hours on the islet.
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“Individuals want protected alternate options to those perilous crossings,” the Greek workplace of the United Nations Refugee Company, UNHCR, mentioned in a tweet.
In a separate incident Friday, Greek police arrested three individuals on smuggling fees and detained 92 migrants after a yacht ran aground within the southern Peloponnese area.
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And a search operation additionally continued for a 3rd day within the central Aegean, the place a ship carrying migrants sank close to the island of Folegandros, killing not less than three individuals. 13 others have been rescued, and the survivors reported that not less than 17 individuals have been lacking. Authorities mentioned the passengers initially have been from Iraq.
Greece is a well-liked entry level into the European Union for individuals fleeing battle and poverty in Asia, the Center East and Africa. However arrivals dropped sharply within the final two years after Greece prolonged a wall on the Turkish border and commenced intercepting inbound boats carrying migrants and refugees — a tactic criticized by human rights teams.
Greater than 116,000 asylum-seekers crossed the Mediterranean to achieve EU international locations this yr as of Dec. 19, in line with UNHCR. The company mentioned 55 per cent traveled illegally to Italy, 35 per cent to Spain, and 7 per cent to Greece, with the rest heading to Malta and Cyprus.
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