Dozens of migrants missing after boat sinks in the Aegean

Aug. 10 () –

The Greek Coast Guard has launched a search operation in waters south of the island of Rhodes, in the Aegean Sea, following the sinking of a boat with migrants and refugees on board and the reported disappearance of dozens of people, according to the testimony of survivors.

Emergency services have recovered 29 of these migrants alive, while an undetermined number of people are unaccounted for. Authorities estimate that about 60 migrants were on board the boat, which sank in international waters 38 miles off Rhodes.

A Coast Guard spokesman quoted by ERT channel, Nikos Kokkalas, said that the 15-meter-long boat, with a cabin, was not prepared to hold so many people. Of the survivors, only a few had life jackets.

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The rescued are all men and mostly from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. According to initial reports, they had departed two days ago from the Italian town of Antalya.

More than a thousand migrants and refugees have lost their lives so far this year in the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which estimates at least 64 victims in the eastern part of this sea, in the waters connecting with countries such as Greece and Cyprus.

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