Turkish Coast Guard rescues 28 refugees in Aegean Sea

Turkish authorities say 28 refugees have been rescued from their sinking boat off country’s western coast while at least 12 others have drowned

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Coast Guard officers help refugees, who were trying to reach the Greek Islands, after they were caught by the Turkish Coast Guard near the coast of Bodrum district in Mugla, Turkey on January 20, 2016

Turkish Coast Guard announced on Thursday that it has rescued 28 refugees, including children and women after boat sank near the Foca district of the western Turkish province of Izmir.

However, at least 12 refugees were found drowned while rescue teams were on patrol.

Local hospitals are currently treating those who were rescued, as coast guard teams brought the bodies of victims back to Foca harbour.

According to the refugees, an unspecified number of people are still missing. A search-and rescue-operation by air and sea is still underway.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of refugees have made a short but perilous journeys across the Aegean, in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search for a better life. Worsening weather conditions during winter make the trip even more dangerous.

Of the more than one million refugees who arrived in the EU last year, more than 850,000 arrived by sea in Greece from Turkey, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Over the course of the year, 805 people died in the Aegean.

In the first two weeks of 2016, more than 23,000 people arrived by sea in Greece and 50 have died, the IOM said.

TRTWorld, AA