Refugee boat collides with Greek coastguard vessel in Aegean

Four refugees dies, another four are missing in Aegean Sea after Greek rescue vessel collides with their boat

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A Greek coastguard boat (Rear) and a smaller boat (R) are search for missing refugees, October 15, 2015

Greece’s coastguard said four people -a woman, two little girls and a baby- have been found dead and they are searching for four others missing near the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean when their wooden boat sank after colliding with their rescue vessel on Thursday.

31 other people have been rescued, the coastguard added.

Officials said they are investigating how the vessel collided with the refugee boat.

Another refugee woman and two children died on Wednesday after their boat, which was carrying a dozen people, capsized off Lesbos.

Greek island of Lesbos is frequently used by refugees who are trying to reach Europe to escape wars, persecution and poverty in their countries.

Almost every day refugee lives are lost in the Aegean Sea located between Turkey and Greece.

Over 3,000 people have lost their lives since January, while some 600,000 people reached Europe’s shores, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

More than 450,000 of them arrived in Greece. Authorities and relief agencies have said that Lesbos is running out of space to bury the dead people.

UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has called on the EU for additional legal channels to be implemented for the refugees, so that people wouldn’t risk their lives by attempting the dangerous sea voyage.

The UNHCR in June called on the EU “member states to offer other legal avenues for people in need of international protection.”

“Providing realistic and substantial alternative channels for people to reach safety will also be a way to support international efforts to combat smuggling and trafficking,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards.



TRTWorld and agencies