Nearly 100 shipwrecked migrants rescued off Greek coast

Nearly 100 shipwrecked migrants rescued off Greek coast
1 min read
Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis and Kurds were among 100 migrants rescued by Greek coastguards, authorities said on Wednesday.
Millions of migrants have attempted to cross into Europe on boats [File Photo: Getty]
The Greek coastguard has rescued nearly 100 migrants from a shipwrecked yacht off Halki island and vessels are searching for more possible missing people, port police said on Wednesday.

The majority of the migrants were Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis and Kurds, and the group included ten children, according to the Greek ministry of the merchant navy.

The rescue took place as tensions are escalating with Turkey over maritime rights, and the Greek ministry criticised two Turkish patrol boats in the area for failing to take part in the operation.

The rescue operation began on Tuesday evening after the port police were informed about a yacht in a difficulty and which had sent out a distress signal.

The migrants had originally boarded on the Turkish coast, one of the routes smugglers use to get migrants to the European Union through nearby Greek islands.

Four coastguard patrol boats, a rescue boat, a naval vessel, five cargo ships navigating the area and an air force helicopter took part in the rescue, the ministry said in a statement.

Read also: Comment: France and UK play blame game as migrants wash up dead on their shores

Among the survivors, the Greek authorities have identified three suspected smugglers.

Greece and Turkey have both sent warships into the eastern Mediterranean as their dispute over gas exploration rights escalates. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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