Nearly 200 migrants found drifting in Mediterranean

Greek authorities locate boat with 150-200 migrants adrift in eastern Mediterranean

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A boat carrying 150 to 200 migrants has been found drifting in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, said Greek authorities late on Monday.

The Merchant Marine Ministry said that vessel was some 150 km southeast of the island of Karpathos, in international waters.

The migrants were not in immediate danger when two merchant ships reached them to offer help of evacuate the boat if necessary.

Some 150,000 migrants and refugees have reached Europe crossing the Mediterranean and more than 1,900 of them have died in the sea so far this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported.

1,841 of the migrants died in the central Mediterranean as they crossed from Libya to Malta or Italy.

Nearly all of the people who crossed the Mediterranean so far this year have landed in Greece or Italy, with the numbers roughly equal.

More than 77,000 people have landed on Greek shores, the country which has been facing a “growing humanitarian crisis.”

Last month, European Union countries agreed to redistribute 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum-seekers already present in Europe to help take the load off countries like Italy and Greece.

However, initial idea of imposing immigrant quotas on EU member countries was  rejected after almost 10 countries including the UK, Hungary, Spain as well as France raised their objections, leading to a voluntary basis for  migrant redistribution.

TRTWorld and agencies