Greece: 16 women, one minor lose their lives in shipwrecks

Thirty people missing, Athens calls on Turkey to block departures

06 October, 16:17

    MADRID - Sixteen women and one child died in a shipwreck off the island of Lesbos. While ten women were rescued, the search continues to try to find the missing persons on board. The boat had approximately 40 people on board according to reconstructions of the story. The Greek Coast Guard's spokesperson, Nikos Kokkalis, commented to the news daily Kathimerini, that rescue operations of the shipwrecked migrants proceed with great difficulty due to weather conditions. "These are both very difficult operations- explained Kokkalis- it is difficult for the boats to conduct the search due to the strong winds- between eight and ten on the Beaufort scale- which have been raging relentlessly on both sides of the coasts since last night". According to Kokkalis, the situation in Kythira is particularly bad and "the chances of finding someone still alive are very few".

    The mayor of Kythira, Stratos Charchalakis, told Skai TV that he saw five migrants die in front of him, overwhelmed by the waves. Both shipwrecks took place last night: in Kythira a sailboat with approximately 95 persons crashed against the rocks and sunk, 80 migrants were rescued and they are still searching for the missing 15 people. "In the case of Lesbos, there is some hope of finding survivors", added Kokkalis to the newspaper Kathimerini. "Locals who live on the island said that last night they saw some shipwreck survivors on the shore, so we still have some hope of finding some people alive", explained the Coast Guard's spokesperson.

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