Several migrants missing after a boat accident in the Aegean Sea

Status: 12/22/2021 11:53 a.m.

A boat carrying refugees sank off the Greek island of Folegandros. Twelve people were saved by the coast guard. Several people are still missing. A major rescue operation is underway.

The Greek coast guard rescued twelve migrants in the Aegean Sea during the night. Her boat sank off the Cycladic island of Folegandros. “But there are many people who are still missing,” said Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas on Greek state television (ERT). The rescued would have given different information about how many people were on board. “We assume 30 to 50 people (who were on board) and continue the search,” added the spokesman for the Coast Guard. Most of the rescued people said they came from Iraq.

Large-scale rescue operation

According to the coast guard, four coast guard ships, two navy and air force helicopters, a military transport aircraft, five passing ships and three private boats took part in the search. The coast guard had previously received information that a ship carrying migrants had sustained an engine failure and was full of water in front of Folegandros. The twelve rescued used a smaller boat that was on board the larger one. According to the Coast Guard, only two of them were wearing life jackets. Folegandros is off the usual routes of refugee boats.

Boats often out of date

Again and again migrants try to get from the Turkish Aegean coast or from other states in the east of the Mediterranean to the Greek mainland or to Italy. In this way, they want to avoid having to stay in the registry camps on the islands in the east of the Aegean for long periods of time. However, due to the long journey through the Mediterranean south or north of Crete, machine damage often occurs in the usually ancient boats that people smugglers sell to people. There is no official information on how many people died on these routes.

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