One refugee child dies, 13 missing in Aegean Sea

Five years old girl dies and some 13 people missing after boat sinks in Aegean Sea while trying to reach Greek island of Lesbos

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Syrian refugee girl holding a teddy bear is helped to leave a dinghy moments after arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 12, 2015

A refugee girl believed to be aged five years old died and up to 13 other people went missing in the Aegean Sea, after their boat sank while trying to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey on Saturday.

Nikos Lagkadianos, the spokesman for the Greek coastguard, said they rescued 11 other people from the sea. The girl was unconscious when they found her, he said.

A coastguard spokeswoman said that they were told “there were 26 people in the boat in total."

Another child and a man taken to hospital with hypothermia were among those rescued.

Lesbos is one of the Greek islands mainly used by refugees trying to cross into Greece from Turkey, and on to Europe from there.

Over 2,800 refugees have died or went missing in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 by September 17, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Over 470,000 have arrived in Europe by sea in the same period, some 350,000 through Greece. Around 40 percent of those are Syrians.

The body of another four year old Syrian girl washed up on a beach in western Turkey on Friday.

The high risk of the sea route has led Syrian refugees in Turkey to attempt to enter Greece and Bulgaria by land in recent days, with the aim of reaching wealthier European countries such as Germany.

TRTWorld and agencies