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Shipwreck: Desperate relatives seek for their beloved ones in Greece

With pictures on their mobiles or at hand, relatives and friends are desperately searching among the fishing boat survivors for their beloved ones.

They have traveled from several countries to Greece to seek for their people with whom they lost contact since Wednesday, June 16, when the fishing boat capsized and sank in international waters, 47 nautical miles south of Greece, taking with it an unknown number of passengers risking their lives for a better future.

They have traveled to Malakasa camp in northern Attica, where 71 shipwreck survivors have been transferred, and to the port of Kalamata where the survivors first arrived and some of them are still hospitalized.

picture via local media

They are looking for their spouses, their children, their brothers, cousins and uncles.

Of the 78 recovered bodies only one belonged to a woman. An unknown number of women and children were locked in the hull of the boat.

Rescued have been 104 people right from the beginning, further Search and Rescue operations brought no positive results.

According to state broadcaster ERT, authorities at the port of Kalamata have received over 250 calls from abroad by relatives of missing people who seek information.

With tears in their eyes, the relatives and friends, mostly of Syrian origin, speak with the survivors trying to get a glimpse of information abut the fate of their missing beloved, trying to find out whether they are alive or hospitalized.

Access to the camp is, however, prohibited, reported as it is for local and international journalists trying to get information about how the shipwreck happened in front of the eyes of the Greek Coast Guard and the Frontex.

They leave behind the names of the missing

“We came from Germany and we are looking for our brother” two men of Syrian origin said while arriving at the camp entrance. Anxiety and fear were written in their eyes, reported website They held a picture and had the name of their brother. A name that was not on the list of those transferred to the camp. They could not get information whether their brother was among those being treated at the hospital in Kalamata, where 18 people are being still treated.

Another man, also from Syria, flew from Norway to Greece in search of his cousin.

One after the other, the visitors from abroad leave Malakasa camp for Kalamata in south Peloponnese, with hope in their heart that their missing brother or cousin is there.

Often there are also people who search for missing ones from specific villages or towns in Pakistan, Syria or Egypt known for residents who leave for abroad.

Syrian Fardi flew from Holland to Greece right after the shipwreck news reached Europe. He was seeking for his 18-year-old brother Mohammed whom he thought he may have been one of the victims. The two brothers accidentally met at the port of Kalamata before the young survivor was transferred to Malakasa camp together with another 70 people.

The 7 unaccompanied minors who survived the shipwreck have been transferred to a structure of the International Organization for Migration in Athens.

SAR operation continues also on Sunday, June 18, with one Navy frigate and three ships sailing nearby, state broadcaster ERT reported.

Crucial questions still unanswered

At the same time, questions about the “sudden” shipwreck remain answered still on Sunday, with the Greek Coast Guard to have released controversial information about the incident.

One day the GCG spokesman said they did not try to tow the overloaded boat, the next day he admitted they threw one rope.

Survivors have reportedly told foreign media that the boat was towed and blamed the Greeks for the shipwreck.

On Sunday, news website, dismissed GCG claims that the boat was sailing in steady speed.

Based on survivors testimonies, the sank boat took 568 souls to the bottom of the sea in one of the biggest tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea.

Greek authorities should write the word Transparency in capital letters!

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