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Greece: Rescue Operation Underway Off Southwestern Region For Around 90 Migrants On Board Yacht

Greece: Rescue Operation Underway Off Southwestern Region For Around 90 Migrants On Board Yacht

The coast guard said the yacht, believed to be carrying around 90 people, was spotted about 40 nautical miles (74 kilometres) west of the small town of Pylos. Six of the people on board were picked up by another yacht sailing in the area and transported to Pylos, where one woman was transferred to a hospital in the southern city of Kalamata.

Representational Image
Representational Image AP

A rescue operation was underway Wednesday morning for dozens of migrants on board a yacht reported to be in difficulty off the southwestern coast of Greece, authorities said.

The coast guard said the yacht, believed to be carrying around 90 people, was spotted about 40 nautical miles (74 kilometres) west of the small town of Pylos.

Six of the people on board were picked up by another yacht sailing in the area and transported to Pylos, where one woman was transferred to a hospital in the southern city of Kalamata.

Another 25 people were picked up by a passing tanker ship and were being transported to Kalamata, while the remaining passengers were being transferred to another passing cargo ship, the coast guard said

A coast guard lifeboat was on the scene, and another coast guard vessel was on the way. There were no reports of any missing passengers.

The area is near where a deadly migrant shipwreck in June left hundreds of people dead and missing and led to allegations that Greek authorities failed to respond appropriately to rescue the passengers.

The overcrowded trawler had set sail from Libya with an estimated 500-700 people on board. Only 104 people survived, while 82 bodies were recovered. The rest sank with the trawler in what is one of the deepest parts of the Mediterranean.

Last week, 40 of the survivors filed a lawsuit in Greece against “all parties responsible,” saying Greek authorities failed to intervene to rescue the passengers before the vessel capsized.

Many of the survivors dispute the official account that repeated offers of assistance by the coast guard were rejected and claim that a botched effort was made to tow the vessel to safety shortly before it capsized and sank.

Greece lies along a route used by smugglers to ferry people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia into the European Union.

Many use small dinghies to head from Turkey to Greek islands near the Turkish coast, while others use larger sailing boats, yachts or fishing vessels in an attempt to make the longer crossing from either Turkiye or north Africa to Italy, bypassing Greece.

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