Boat carrying migrants sinks in Aegean Sea, killing captain

Boat carrying migrants sinks near southwestern province of Mugla, killing Turkish captain

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A small boat carrying 12 illegal immigrants from Bodrum, a district of Turkey’s southwestern province of Mugla, to the Greek island of Kalymnos, sank in Aegean Sea on Saturday.

Eleven immigrants were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard, while the body of the Turkish captain was found in the sea.

Search and rescue teams backed by helicopters continue to search the area for one missing migrant.

The migrants were discovered by a Turkish yacht nine hours after the incident. Turkish Coast Guards initiated rescue efforts immediately after being notified.

According to governorate figures, 955 illegal immigrants attempting to illegally travel to Greece, were rescued by Turkish Coast Guards between June 22 - June 26, while six other migrants died in 32 incidents which happened off coastal provinces such as Izmir, Aydin, Balikesir, Canakkale and Mugla.

Illegal immigration has become a major problem in the Aegean region of Turkey. In the first three months of 2015, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued 1,497 immigrants and captured six smugglers in about 60 incidents in the Aegean Sea.

Also, 12,872 illegal immigrants were captured by the guards in 2014 in 524 cases.

According to officials, most of the undocumented immigrants come from Syria and Middle Eastern countries. Migrants try to flee Europe from Turkey via the Aegean Sea despite the ever-present risk of death in overcrowded boats.

TRTWorld and agencies