No less than 16 folks died late Friday within the Aegean Sea after a ship carrying migrants capsized, the Greek authorities mentioned, the third episode in three days that when mixed have led to a minimum of 30 deaths this previous week in Greek waters.
Sixty-three folks had been rescued in what the Greek Coast Guard described in a press release as a “gigantic” operation that started Friday, after a ship foundered off the island of Paros, and that continued Saturday morning.
The reason for the newest sinking was unclear as of Saturday afternoon.
The Greek authorities are nonetheless looking for survivors from the 2 earlier wrecks, which had been farther south within the Aegean, off the islands of Folegandros and Antikythera.
On Thursday and Friday, divers recovered 11 our bodies after a ship struck rocks close to Antikythera, leaving about 90 migrants stranded there for the evening. A video released on Friday by the Greek authorities confirmed the rescue mission.
And a wreck of a migrant boat late Tuesday off the island of Folegandros left a minimum of three folks lifeless and dozens unaccounted for, Greece’s Coast Guard mentioned on Wednesday. 13 folks survived that crash, and the Coast Guard mentioned that some survivors mentioned 30 to 50 folks had been aboard the vessel.
Neither Antikythera, Folegandros nor Paros are alongside the route usually favored by folks smugglers, suggesting that they could have modified their ways, probably to keep away from a crackdown by the Greek authorities within the japanese Aegean, the place patrols have been intensified in latest months.
The Coast Guard mentioned that the boats appeared to have been destined for Italy. Sometimes, migrants boarding vessels in neighboring Turkey head to islands within the japanese Aegean, that are nearer to the Turkish shoreline.
On Saturday afternoon, Greece’s immigration minister, Notis Mitarachi, made a plea to Turkey to forestall smuggling boats from even setting out.
“Greece continues to save lots of lives at sea and battle the smuggling networks, however it’s not sufficient,” Mr. Mitarachi wrote on Twitter. “The lack of life within the Aegean is stunning. We should all condemn this criminality whereas calling on Turkey to redouble its efforts to forestall unlawful departures.”
The episodes this week come solely a month after 27 people died in an try and cross the English Channel to Britain from France — and in every week wherein a minimum of 70 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya. The tragedies have additionally underscored the dangers confronted by migrants embarking on perilous sea routes in a bid to flee battle or search higher lives.
Greece stays a key route for migrants and asylum seekers, although arrivals have dropped sharply lately, as have deaths at sea, because the peak of Europe’s refugee disaster in 2015 and 2016.