A refugee boat capsized off the Greek island of Leros on Sunday, killing four children and a woman. According to the Greek Coast Guard, 41 people were rescued.
As a result of the sinking of a refugee boat, four children and a woman died off the Greek island of Leros on Sunday. The Greek Coast Guard said 41 people were rescued. Of the survivors, two adults and six children were taken to Leros hospital. However, four of these children could not be revived, according to the Greek news agency ANA.
Among the dead children were two boys about five years old and a four-year-old girl. According to ANA, the adult fatality was around 20 years old. According to the authorities, the refugees crossed over from Turkey in a rubber dinghy. All people on board are from African countries, ANA reported.
Searches continued on Sunday for other possible victims of the boat accident, but rough seas and strong winds made it difficult for the three lifeboats and a helicopter to operate. According to a media report, the emergency call was made by a fisherman who initially found the woman dead in the sea. According to reports from eyewitnesses, dozens of refugees were on the dinghy.
“Unfortunately, we are once again dealing with innocent victims who lost their lives to the criminal behavior of human traffickers,” said Greek Merchant Marine Minister Yannis Plakiotakis. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) tweeted on Sunday that it was “appalling that, in the absence of safe routes, refugees continue to make risky journeys and entrust their lives to unscrupulous smugglers.”
Many refugees try to get from Turkey to Greece and thus to the EU in unseaworthy boats. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2,246 people fleeing war and poverty in their home countries have died in the eastern Mediterranean since 2014.