Cyprus rescue under way for 300 people at sea

Official says those stranded are mostly women and children and may be refugees from Syria, after distress signal sent.

    A search and rescue operation is under way off Cyprus for 300 people stranded at sea who authorities suspect may be refugees from Syria.

    Authorities said they received a distress signal early on Thursday morning from a small vessel sailing about 50 nautical miles (92km) south-west of the town of Paphos, on Cyprus's western coast.

    "We estimate about 300 people are on board the boat, most of them women and children," a spokeswoman told Reuters. "They are on a small fishing boat and are possibly refugees from Syria."

    Photos taken from a Cypriot army helicopter showed dozens of people sitting on the main deck of what appeared to be a commercial trawler. Weather conditions in the area were bad.

    The condition of the boat's occupants was not immediately known. Cypriot authorities were making arrangements to receive and provide medical treatment to the migrants, the defence ministry said.

    State radio said that, as well as coastguards, a cruise boat was sailing to the scene to offer assistance and a tanker was also on site.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.