Migrant boat traversed entire Bosphorus without being detected before disaster
The small boat is believed to have been transporting 42 refugees and a Turkish captain to Romania when it sank near the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea on Nov. 3. AA PhotoA boat carrying Afghan refugees that sank off the northern coast of Istanbul on Nov. 3, killing at least 24 people, appears to have traversed the entire Bosphorus without being spotted, daily Hürriyet has learned. Search efforts are continuing for the 13 migrants still missing.
The small boat is believed to have been transporting 42 refugees and a Turkish captain to Romania when it sank near the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea on Nov. 3.
According to the first findings, the boat set sail from Florya, a neighborhood on the shores of the Marmara Sea on Istanbul’s European side at midnight on Nov. 2. If confirmed, this would mean that the migrant ship traversed the entire length of the Bosphorus without being detected by officials.
The 30-kilometer-long strait handles some of the world’s heaviest shipping traffic and has some of the most developed monitoring systems and radar to guide ships that ply the route every day. Dozens of boats have capsized in the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea over the last year, but few have been reported transiting near the Bosphorus to date.
The boat was pulled out of the Black Sea on Nov. 4 as part of the investigation. Officials said it contained no radar nor any walkie-talkie and had proceeded with all lights off while traversing the Bosphorus.
The 42 refugees reportedly paid 7,000 euros in their desperate bid to reach Europe.
Meanwhile, officials also said search efforts resumed early Nov. 4 for the 13 refugees still missing, including the Turkish captain. Six people have been rescued alive so far.
Migrants were ‘stacked’
The migrants, including 12 children, were stacked into every nook and cranny of the boat, the Turkish Coast Guard said.
The bodies of a man, a woman and a child believed to be from the same family were retrieved from the bottom of the vessel.
The investigation also revealed that the life jackets provided to the migrants were old and some were unusable.