Three killed after irregular migration boat sinks near Kardak islets off Aegean coast
At least three people were killed on Nov. 3 while trying to illegally cross to the Greek island of Kalymnos from the western Turkish resort district of Bodrum, the Doğan News Agency has reported.
The boat, which had set sail from the Gümüşlük neighborhood carrying irregular migrants, sank off the coast near the islets of Kardak.
A number of Turkish and Greek coastguard boats and helicopters were dispatched to the scene.
A woman’s body was recovered by a Greek patrol boat, while two other bodies were found in Turkish waters, the Greek police said, Agence France-Presse reported.
The Greek authorities were alerted that the boat was in distress. As a patrol arrived the boat sank.
The survivors - 14 adults and a child - said there were up to 24 people onboard the vessel when it set out from Turkey.
Rescue works are ongoing with the participation of six Turkish coast guard boats, four Greek boats and two Turkish coastguard helicopters in the region, in an attempt to find any more survivors.
Hundreds of people, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, have died since 2015 trying to cross from Turkey to Greece in often rickety boats.
The numbers dropped dramatically after March last year, when Turkey and the EU agreed a deal to stem the flow of people. But the numbers have started to rise again since August, with around 5,000 migrants arriving on Greek islands in September, the U.N. says.
More than a dozen Syrian refugees are currently on hunger strike in Athens to highlight the plight of 2,000 people waiting for at least six months to be allowed to rejoin families, mainly in Germany.
Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said on Nov. 2 that the increase in arrivals was causing “major difficulties” on the islands.