October 28, 2016

Six migrants drown as vessel sinks off Greek island

Six migrants including one child drowned when their vessel sank off a Greek island close to Turkey, the Greek coastguard said on Wednesday, as the perilous crossings towards Europe continue despite harsh winter conditions.

“One man managed to swim ashore from an estimated 10 people on board. The body of a young boy was washed ashore,” a Greek coastguard official said.

The sinking took place early on Wednesday north of the Ammoglossa cape of the island of Kos in the eastern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish coast.

Three coastguard vessels, one military helicopter and two Frontex boats were searching for survivors.

“According to the survivor’s testimony, at least three migrants are missing,” the coastguard official said.

More than 600,000 refugees and migrants fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries arrived in Greece from Turkey last year, risking the short but dangerous sea crossing, often on inflatable rafts. Hundreds have drowned.

At least 43 people, including 17 children, drowned when their boats capsized off two Greek islands near the Turkish coast last week, marking one of the deadliest sinkings for migrants risking the precarious route to Europe from Turkey.

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