A refugee and a migrant stole a boat and attempted to return to Turkey but they were captured by a Frontex vessel. The two men, a Syrian, 32, and an Egyptian, 28, stole the boat from Agia Ermioni port on the islands of Chios, just a couple of nautical miles away form the Turkish coast.
They set sail towards the city of Cesme in Turkey at 4:00 am on Thursday.
However they were spotted by a Rumanian Frontex patrol vessel that led them back to Chios.
Upon arrival they were arrested and accused of theft, while the boat was returned to the owner.
The two men had reportedly applied for asylum two months ago, their request is still pending.
“The incident shows the desperation of thousands of people stuck for more than a year on the island of Chios and other islands of the North and Eastern Aegea Sea,” local newspaper PolitisChios notes.
Stealing a boat and attempting to return to Turkey seems to be the “winter method” as in summer some of the desperate ones simply jumped into the water and started to swim towards the Turkish coast.
Last May, four migrants from Morocco jumped into the water and tried to reach the Turkish city of Cesme by swimming a distance of some 10 nautical miles. They were wearing life vests. However, they were spotted by a fishing boat and were turned back to Chios by the Greek coast guard.
Meanwhile, a total of 52 new arrivals were recorded in the last 24 hours. They all arrived at Chios.
According to official sources, a total of 9,921 people are in the hot spots of Chios, Lesvos and Samos.
Greek workers at the Asylum Services on the islands and the mainland will launch a 24-hour strike on Monday, Feb 13, a total of 370 people. The strike launched by public sector union ADEDH is due to delays in the monthly salaries.