Six migrants die after boat sinks off southwestern Turkey

Six immigrants die while many rescued as boat carrying migrants sinks near southwestern province of Mugla

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Six immigrants died and nearly 60 others were rescued on Tuesday when a boat carrying illegal Syrian immigrants sank near the Bodrum district of Mugla, Turkey’s southwestern province.

The vessel - carrying nearly 70 immigrants who illegally travel to the Greek island of Kos - was spotted by the fishermen sinking off near Kara Island, 3.2 kilometres away from Bodrum.

Search-and-rescue operations supported by helicopters and the Bodrum Sea Rescue Association were carried out by Turkish Coast Guards.

The survivors from the incident were hospitalised at Bodrum State Hospital.

After being given first aid, nearly 60 immigrants including women and children were brought to the Coast Guard Command Centre for further processing.

"It was windy. Suddenly our boat capsized. We found ourselves in the sea. The coast guard saved us as we were clinging to the hull. We are in shock, our relatives have been killed," said Syrian migrant Ahmet Sohta, 30, who survived the accident.

The island of Kos is nearly 3.5 kilometres away from Bodrum, a roughly 20-minute boat journey, and migrants pay smugglers up to 800 euros for each passenger to travel to the island.

Two hundred and fifty immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan attempting to illegally travel to the Greek island of Kos were captured by the Turkish Coast Guard in the town of Bodrum in Mugla province on May 31.

On May 28, 185 immigrants from various countries such as Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan were also captured by Turkish authorities during their journey from Bodrum to Greece.

According to the Hellenic coastguard, more than 40,000 migrants and refugees entered Greece between January and May 2015 and the number is expected to rise.

TRTWorld and agencies