Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 | Last Update : 11:14 AM IST

18 migrants drown off Turkey

AFP
Published : Dec 25, 2015, 2:37 am IST
Updated : Dec 25, 2015, 2:37 am IST

At least 18 migrants drowned when their overcrowded bo-at sank in the Aegean Sea on Thursday on the way to the Greek island of Lesbos in the latest tra-gedy involving refugees seeking to enter Europe.

Video grab released by the Italian Coast Guard shows migrants and refugees sitting in a boat during a rescue operation. -AFP
 Video grab released by the Italian Coast Guard shows migrants and refugees sitting in a boat during a rescue operation. -AFP

At least 18 migrants drowned when their overcrowded bo-at sank in the Aegean Sea on Thursday on the way to the Greek island of Lesbos in the latest tra-gedy involving refugees seeking to enter Europe.

The wooden boat capsized in high waves two miles off the Bademli coast in the Aegean, the private Dogan news agency reported.

The Turkish Coast Guard recovered the bodies including several children from the sea, and were hunting for another two who were missing. A one-year old baby was among those rescued.

Divers from the nearby Turkish coastal city of Izmir were rushed to the scene after a tip-off that more refugees could be stuck in the hold, Dogan said.

The UN refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migrat-ion said this week more than one million migr-ants and refugees reached Europe in 2015, most of them by sea. The vast majority of people — over 8,00,000 — landed in Greece, according to the figures. The Greek police said on Wednesday that at least 13 people including seven children, drowned when their boat sank in the Aegean.

Turkey, which is currently hosting at least 2.2 million Syrian refugees, is a major launch-pad for migrants who are seeking better lives in European Union nations. The EU is grappling for solutions to the mass arrival of migrants, most of them Syr-ian refugees from Turkey. Ankara reached an agreement with the EU in November to stem the flow of refugees heading to Europe, in return for financial assistance.

Location: Turkey, Ankara