Four bodies were recovered and more than 300 people have been rescued so far after a boat carrying some 600-700 migrants sank 75 nautical miles south of Crete in the area of Kalon Limenon.
The 25-meter long vessel has reportedly sent a distress signal early Friday morning. The boat was in international waters and within Egypt’s FIR, the mobilization of the Greek port authorities was prompt in consultation with Egyptian authorities.
the point where the boat sank, 75nm south off Crete – via ekriti.gr
According to Coast Guard, Greece sent two patrol vessels, a military airplane, two Super Puma and a helicopter of the Navy, while five passing ships were participating in the rescue operation, and another commercial ship was on the way.
Nationalities of the boat passengers are not known, neither where the boat had sailed from.
According to latest information from state broadcaster ERT, the majority of the rescued are on board of a Norwegian ship. It is not clear yet, where the migrants will be taken to, although there are reports that some will be taken to Italy and others to Greece.
The operation is coordinated by the Greek coast guard.
Among the boat passengers were reportedly a lot of women and children.
If the estimation is correct, it looks like another tragedy has occurred in the Mediterranean sea.
human smugglers have apparently found a new rout to take the desperate to Europe, two days ago, 110 migrants were stranded on the island of Crete.
The SAR operation is continuing.
note: I’m not sure all pictures/footage displayed so far via GR media and on Twitter are from today’s shipwreck.
UPDATE: more than 24 hours after shipwreck and the number of rescued remains the same, while the number of recovered bodies has increased to ten.
242 rescued are taken to Italy, the rest was picked up by a ship of the Egyptian Navy.
the number of missing remains unknown. Estimations spoke of 700 passengers onboard of the boat, Greek Coast Guard estimates the number as 400-500. However, this number cannot be confirmed either.