Greeks rescue migrants from punctured boat

2014-05-06 19:02
A yacht used to transport immigrants illegally overturned in a fatal accident near the Greek island of Samos. (Hellenic Coast Guard, AP)

A yacht used to transport immigrants illegally overturned in a fatal accident near the Greek island of Samos. (Hellenic Coast Guard, AP)

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Athens - Greece's coastguard on Tuesday said it helped rescue 24 migrants in the Aegean a day after a yacht bringing scores of migrants from Turkey capsized, killing at least 22 people.

Both incidents occurred near the Aegean island of Samos, a short distance from the Turkish coast.

Tuesday's rescue took place inside Turkish waters, with the migrants later handed over to a Turkish coastguard vessel, the Greek authorities said.

The migrants of unspecified nationality allegedly punctured their dinghy and fell into the water to force a rescue, the Greek coastguard said.

On Monday, at least 22 migrants including 12 women and four children drowned after the yacht carrying them towards Greek shores capsized.

The authorities have so far picked up 36 survivors from Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria out of an apparent group of 65 people but the rest are still missing.

Greece is one of the main ports of entry into the European Union for people fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

People traffickers are using Greece's Aegean islands as a preferred route into Europe following a tightening of migration controls along its land border with Turkey.

Read more on:    turkey  |  greece  |  migrants
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