At least 19 killed after boat carrying migrants sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast
KOCAELİAt least 19 people were killed after a fishing boat carrying migrants sank off the northwestern Turkish coast of Kocaeli in the Black Sea early on Sept. 22.
An unborn baby is reportedly among those killed migrants in the accident.
Coastguard teams were searching for other migrants who went missing following the capsizing off the Kefken coast, while some 40 migrants have already been rescued from the sea.
The incident occurred 64 sea miles off the coast.
The Coast Guard Command was informed of the incident at 5:03 a.m. and two coastguard boats, a coast guard plane from the Coast Guard, and one plane, one helicopter and two patrol boats from Turkish Naval Forces Command were dispatched to the scene immediately.
Five merchant ships also supported search and rescue efforts.
“As the migrants face a growing pressure on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts to cross, their route has now changed to the Black Sea region,” Bartın Police Chief Ogün Vural told reporters.
He also emphasized that his unit had prevented crossings through various security measures.
Vural, who began his post two months ago, said gendarmerie forces are guarding the coast throughout the day and are working in cooperation with several non-governmental organizations on the issue.
“We do not even let an unregistered bird fly by,” he said.
Those rescued from the accident were taken under treatment at a mobile hospital set up on the Kefken coast. Some of rescued migrants were rushed to hospitals in Kocaeli for detailed medical examinations.
Two heavily injured migrants were taken to Kocaeli University Research and Train Hospital, while one of the pregnant women who was rushed to the hospital lost her baby despite all efforts.
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.