Three individuals drowned and as much as three dozen extra have been lacking on Wednesday after a smuggling boat carrying migrants from Turkey sank within the Aegean Sea, Greece’s Coast Guard stated.
The sinking got here only a few weeks after 27 people drowned in an try and cross the English Channel to Britain from France, a tragedy that introduced again into sharp focus the deadly dangers confronted by asylum seekers who board overcrowded smuggling vessels.
Early Wednesday morning, a rescue vessel plucked 12 survivors from a dinghy off the island of Folegandros, the Greece Coast Guard stated in an announcement. The survivors have been hospitalized on the island of Santorini with hypothermia, a spokeswoman for Greece’s Delivery Ministry stated.
It was unclear precisely how many individuals have been unaccounted for Wednesday evening. However the survivors, whose testimonies have been cited within the Coast Guard’s assertion, stated the boat had been carrying between 30 and 50 individuals in all.
The migrants first put out a misery name on Tuesday night, saying their vessel had suffered engine failure and began taking over water, the Coast Guard stated.
After an preliminary search on Tuesday evening, a Navy frigate, three army plane and eight business ships joined a large-scale rescue operation on Wednesday. Because the hours handed, fears grew concerning the destiny of the opposite migrants amid indications that the vessel had little lifesaving gear.
Solely two of the survivors have been carrying life jackets, Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas advised state tv. “We at all times put together for the worst-case state of affairs,” he stated. “On this case, it’s that fifty individuals have been on the boat.”
The search, suspended at dusk, was scheduled to renew on Thursday morning.
The authorities described the survivors as 11 males, 4 of them adolescents, and a lady initially from Iraq, Syria and Egypt. The nation of origin for the three males who died was not clear.
Greece was the gateway for a whole bunch of hundreds of migrants fleeing battle or looking for higher lives in Europe in 2015 and 2016. Although Greece stays a key route for migrants, arrivals have dropped sharply lately, as have deaths at sea.
Usually, migrants boarding vessels in neighboring Turkey head to islands within the japanese Aegean, that are nearer to the Turkish shoreline. Folegandros, a part of the Cyclades group of islands within the central Aegean, is just not on the route usually favored by individuals smugglers.