Refugee boat capsizes in Aegean Sea

Refugee boat carrying at least 100 people illegally to Greek islands capsizes in Aegean Sea causing at least 34 people to drown, including children

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Syrian refugee holding a baby in a lifetube swims towards the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos

A wooden boat illegally carrying at least 100 refugees to Greece capsized in the Aegean sea on Sunday, resulting in the death of 34 people among whom were four babies and 11 children, Greek media reported.

The tragedy occurred early on Sunday morning as the boat capsised in waters of east of Farmakonisi Islandwith four infants, 11 children and 10 women drowning, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANAmpa) said.

The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre of the Greek Maritime Ministry launched a helicopter on a rescue operation after it was informed about the overturning of the wooden boat carrying refugees trying to reach the Greek Farmokonisi Island.  

The exact number of people in the boat is reported to be unknown while search and rescue operations are continuing.

The Syrian civil war between armed opposition groups and the forces of the regime of autocrat Bashar al-Assad has forced millions of Syrians to flee to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries.

Refugees - mainly Syrian - are putting their lives in danger while trying to escape from the chaos their homeland in order to reachEuropean countries through the Greek islands from Turkey with unsafe boats.

As a result of the refugee influx, Europe is facing a crisis described as the worst refugee crisis in the continent since World War II.

European countries recently announced they could accept up to 140,000 refugees.

The US also said on Thursday that it would let as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter the country next year.

TRTWorld and agencies