Death toll after capsizing of Black Sea migrant boat rises to 24
The total death toll in the Sept. 22 sinking of a boat carrying migrants heading to Europe in the Black Sea, off the Turkish province of Kocaeli, rose to 24 after the body of another woman was found by search-and-rescue teams on Sept. 24, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
Search teams managed to rescue 40 migrants at first, after the boat sank around 64 nautical miles north of the village of Kefken.
Search efforts for the missing three migrants are ongoing.
The Turkish Coast Guard Command was informed of the incident at 5.03 a.m. local time (0203GMT) on Sept. 22 and two coastguard boats, a plane from the Coast Guard Command, and one plane, one helicopter and two patrol boats from Naval Forces Command were immediately dispatched to the scene.
Five merchant ships also supported search and rescue efforts.
“As the migrants face growing difficulty crossing on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, their route has now changed to the Black Sea,” Bartın Police Chief Ogün Vural told reporters on the day of the incident.
Those rescued from the accident were taken under treatment at a mobile hospital set up on the coast near Kerken and some of the rescued migrants were rushed to hospitals in Kocaeli for detailed medical examinations.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Command issued figures about migrants rescued from the sea between Aug. 13 and Sept. 9.
Accordingly, coastguard crews rescued 834 migrants in seven different incidents and 10 human traffickers were detained by police.