Vessel carrying hundreds of migrants arrives in Greek port

On Crete after dramatic rescue in the high seas

22 November, 16:19

    (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, NOV 22 - A boat carrying hundreds of migrants was towed into a port on the island of Crete on Tuesday after a dramatic rescue in the high seas amid strong winds.

    Reports were from the Greek Coast Guard, a spokesman for which noted that the asylum seekers had been "towed into port but not yet disembarked".

    The Coast Guard had initially estimated that up to 500 people were on the boat.

    The rescue operation, coordinated by the Greek authorities, was conducted 18 nautical miles south of Palaiochora. Two cargo ships, an oil tanker, and two Italian fishing boats assisted with the operation.

    The vessel was subsequently towed into the Palaiochora port by a fishing boat.

    Ever more overcrowded large vessels, such as sailboats, are having difficulty and getting wrecked south of Crete and south of the Peloponnese due to an increase in journeys along a route that runs from the Turkish coast directly to Italy to avoid pushbacks by the Greek Coast Guard.

    Some 80% of migrants setting sail from Turkey aim to arrive in Italy, said Greek immigration minister Notis Mitarakis in a recent interview with the broadcaster Skai.

    Since the beginning of October, at least 60 migrants have lost their lives in incidents in Greek waters.(ANSAmed).

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