[QODLink]
Europe

Greece-bound migrants drown in Aegean Sea

At least 22, including four children, die after yacht and dinghy carrying them towards Greek shores capsize.

Last updated: 05 May 2014 14:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Greece is one of the main ports of entry into the EU for people fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries [AP]

At least 22 migrants including four children have drowned in the Aegean Sea after a yacht and a dinghy carrying them towards Greek shores capsized, coastguard officials said.

Eighteen people were found dead on board the 10-metre yacht after it was towed to shore, the coastguard said on Monday, adding that another four bodies were recovered at sea.

Some 65 migrants were attempting to make the crossing from neighbouring Turkey when their vessels went down near the Greek island of Samos.

The authorities have so far picked up 36 survivors, including three women and a boy, who was flown to an Athens hospital suffering from hypothermia.

A search was underway for half a dozen migrants still believed to be missing, backed by two helicopters, Greek and EU coastguard patrol vessels and three fishing boats.

Four children - three boys and a girl - are among those who perished in addition to 12 women and six men, the coastguard said.

The authorities did not give details of their nationalities.

A coastguard spokeswoman said the capsized vessels were spotted early on Monday morning by a patrol boat from the EU border agency Frontex, which alerted the Greek coastguard.

Greece is one of the main ports of entry into the European Union for people fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

People traffickers are using Greece's Aegean islands as a preferred route into Europe following a tightening of migration controls along its land border with Turkey.

At least 19 migrants have drowned in the perilous Aegean Sea crossings since the beginning of the year.

268

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.