Migrants' boat capsizes off Aegean coast, eight missing
MUĞLA / MERSIN
Rescue efforts for the eight missing Syrian migrants after the capsize of a boat in the Aegean Sea were ongoing despite bad weather Dec. 29. DHA PhotoA fishing vessel carrying illegal Syrian immigrants sank off of Turkey’s southwestern province of Muğla.
The fishing boat set sail on Dec. 28 from the Gümüşlük village of Muğla’s Bodrum district and overturned in the Aegean Sea around 30 minutes afterward due to strong wind. Two immigrants swam for two hours to a nearby island and were seen by the local fishermen early Dec. 29. The locals were taken to the hospital, while rescue efforts were launched to save the other eight people on the boat, which the two captured immigrants said were also on the boat with them.
In a separate incident in the eastern Mediterranean coast, the Turkish Coast Guard has rescued 131 illegal immigrants from leaking fishing boat.
The Mediterranean Coast Guard Regional Command dispatched two rescue boats to save a fishing vessel that was announced to have the possibility of sinking early Dec. 28 off of Turkey’s southern Mersin province, according to the statement released by the Mersin governorate.
The rescue boats reached the 16-meter-long wooden fishing boat by contacting it through the radio and fixed the leak. The illegal immigrants were trying to bail out the water inside of the boat with buckets when the coast guard reached them.
A total of 131 immigrants, out of which 98 were men, 12 were women and 21 were children, were taken to the rescue boat and brought to the Mersin harbor where they were fed.
While 107 people of the 131 total of immigrants saved were Syrians, 15 of them were from Iraq and 9 were Palestinian.
A pregnant women and an individual who had undergone heart surgery were taken to the hospital with ambulances.