Six Syrian migrants die after boat to Greece sinks in Aegean

Six Syrian migrants die after boat to Greece sinks in Aegean

ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
Six Syrian migrants die after boat to Greece sinks in Aegean

AA Photo

Six Syrian migrants died after their Greece-bound boat sank in the Aegean Sea yesterday, while 10 others were rescued. 

The migrant’s boat, which was en route from the northwestern province of Çanakkale to Greece’s Lesbos Island, sank off Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district yeserday, killing six people. Turkish Coast Guard forces on patrol in the region launched rescue efforts after observing the migrants’ struggle in the sea.

Initially, a total of 10 people, including two children and four women, of Syrian origin were rescued from the sea. The bodies of six people were also retrieved. 

The rescued migrants were hospitalized nearby in the districts of Ayvacık and Ezine. The six bodies were taken to the Forensic Medicine Institution in the province of Bursa. 

While the reason of the sinking has not yet been determined, an investigation has been launched into the incident. Coast Guard units are continuing their rescue efforts to determine if there are more people in the sea. 

Second incident in July

The accident came days after 101 people were detained in the same area while they were attempting to reach Greece.

The Aegean Sea is one of the most frequently used routes for illegal migrants trying to reach EU countries. This accident marks the second fatal accident in the Aegean Sea involving migrant boats in the past two weeks. 

On July 7, one migrant died while 29 others went missing when a boat carrying migrants heading to the EU capsized off Turkey’s Aegean coast.

The boat, carrying 37 migrants of mostly Syrian origin, capsized off the Didim coast in the Aegean province of Aydın after setting sail in the early hours of the morning from Fener Bay. 

Witnesses immediately informed the Turkish Coast Guard of the incident. Seven migrants, including two children and two women, were rescued by the Coast Guard. In addition, a rescue operation was launched to locate the 29 missing migrants.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Coast Guard has saved a total of 1,351 migrants who were trying to illegally reach Greece via the Aegean Sea in the past six days.

The İzmir Governorate said in a written statement on July 15 that 42 rescue operations for people attempting to illegally leave the country were conducted from July 10 to July 15, during which a total of 1,351 migrants were captured. 

The statement said the number of migrants saved in the Aegean Sea since Jan. 1, 2015, had increased to 16,816. Some 38 human smugglers were also caught.

Sharing borders with Syria and Iraq to the south and EU members Bulgaria and Greece to the northwest, Turkey has become a center for migrants looking to illegally enter the EU.  In recent years, Aegean region has become one of the most favored routes to the EU.