Dozens missing after migrant boat sinks in Aegean Sea

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Dozens of people are believed to be missing after a migrant and refugee boat sank in the Aegean Sea on Wednesday off the Greek island of Karpathos, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

“Very sad news from the Aegean: Dozens of people are missing after a boat sank off the island of Rhodes this morning (Wednesday),” the UNHCR office in Greece said in a statement. tweet.

Media reported that the ship sank at dawn after leaving southern Turkey yesterday, heading for Italy.

29 rescued

A major search and rescue operation is underwaysaid UNHCR.

According to reports, the Greek Coast Guard said an air and sea rescue operation rescued 29 people, all men, from the waters between Rhodes and Crete.

Media also quoted Greek authorities as reporting that those rescued came from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

The wrecked boat had left Antalya, located on the southern coast of neighboring Türkiye.

Still looking

Media quoted a Greek Coastguard press officer as saying those rescued claimed the trip started with 80 people on board – so up to 50 people are still missing.

UNHCR has confirmed the number of missing.

deadly road

Since the start of the year, UNHCR has said more than 60 people have died in the eastern Mediterranean.

Crossings of the Aegean between the Greek islands and the Turkish coasts are often perilous – killing many migrants and refugees who travel on makeshift boats in the hope of reaching Europe.

Since January, 64 people have died in the eastern Mediterraneanand 111 in 2021, according to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The latest shipwreck in the Aegean Sea, which occurred on June 19, claimed the lives of eight people off the island of Mykonos, according to IOM.

Each pass deadlier

While the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe is lower than in 2015, the journeys have become more and more deadly.

Throughout last year, the UN counted 3,231 migrants and refugees dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea, and 945 people so far this year.

Successful trips

At the same time, 70,325 migrants managed to reach Europe, of which 65,548 individual crossings were reported in the Mediterranean, according to the UNHCR.

Since the start of the year, Italy has received the highest number of arrivals – 43,740, followed by Spain – almost 17,000, Greece – 7,261 and Cyprus – 2,268.

Last year there were 123,300 arrivals and in 2020, 95,800. Previously, 123,700 crossed the Mediterranean in 2019, and 141,500 in 2018.

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