Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Greece launches two rescue operations to find dozens of missing migrants

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Greek authorities have launched two rescue operations to find dozens of missing migrants in the Aegean Sea.

A major search was underway near the islands of Evia and Andros after a migrant boat from Turkey sank in stormy weather overnight.

The Greek coast guard said Tuesday that nine people had been found on an uninhabited rocky islet in the Kafirea Straits between the two islands.

The survivors have told authorities there had been around 68 people had been on board the boat when it set sail from Izmir on the Turkish coast.

Authorities said in a statement were initially alerted by a distress call early on Tuesday morning. A helicopter, a coast guard patrol boat, and two nearby ships were participating in the search and rescue operation.

Meanwhile, a separate search operation is also ongoing off the coast of the Greek island of Samos for eight people reported missing.

Four survivors were rescued on Monday after an inflatable dinghy carrying migrants overturned in the eastern Aegean Sea.

A coast guard aircraft and patrol boat, two nearby ships, and a vessel from the European border patrol agency Frontex were participating in the search, authorities said in a separate statement.

Thousands of migrants attempt to enter the European Union through Greece each year from the Turkish coast.

Earlier this month, at least 27 people drowned in two separate incidents while trying to make the often perilous crossing. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that at least 5,684 migrants had died trying to reach Europe since the start of 2021.



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