14 killed in refugee boat tragedy in Aegean Sea

March 18, 2018


ATHENS: Fourteen people, among them at least four children, drowned on Saturday after a wooden boat carrying refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greece sank off the coast of Agathonissi island in the Aegean Sea, according to Greek national news agency AMNA. 

Three were rescued and at least three more were missing. Greek authorities have yet to make official announcements, but Greek Coast Guard sources said that 14 bodies have been retrieved. 

Two women and one man who managed to reach shore told local authorities that there were about 20 people on board the vessel when it capsized amid unclear circumstances. 

A rescue operation was underway to locate more survivors. Greek Coast Guard forces were supported by Greek Navy ships, Greek Air Force helicopters and a European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) vessel. 

Saturday's tragedy is the first such case after a tranquility of several months in the Aegean. Hundreds of refugees and migrants have perished in the Aegean Sea since 2015. 

More than one million people have landed on Greek shores and continued their journey to other European countries. 
The number of new arrivals has decreased dramatically in recent months to a few dozen per day, according to official Greek Coast Guard figures. Enditem