Greek Authorities Continue Search For Migrants After Shipwreck Off Ionian Island - Reports

(@FahadShabbir)

Greek Authorities Continue Search for Migrants After Shipwreck Off Ionian Island - Reports

Greek authorities are continuing a rescue operation for survivors after a ship carrying refugees and migrants capsized on Saturday, 13 nautical miles off the coast of the Ionian island of Paxos, Greek media reported on Monday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th January, 2020) Greek authorities are continuing a rescue operation for survivors after a ship carrying refugees and migrants capsized on Saturday, 13 nautical miles off the coast of the Ionian island of Paxos, Greek media reported on Monday.

According to the state-run Athens-Macedonian news agency, 21 people had already been rescued from the shipwreck, while 12 bodies have already been recovered. There were approximately 50 people on board the vessel before it collapsed, the media agency reported, citing those who were on the boat.

Almost half of the 21 rescued migrants and refugees were Afghan nationals. Four were from Pakistan, two from Iran, two from Iraq, two from Syria and one was from Somalia, the agency reported.

The rescue operation is ongoing to locate the approximately 20 people still unaccounted for, while the shipwreck has also yet to be found, the agency stated. Additionally, the origin of the vessel and its final destination has yet to be ascertained. According to the agency, investigators only knew that the ship was bound for Italy.

Greece has experienced an uptick in asylum seekers arriving on islands in the Aegean and Ionian seas. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 59,591 people arrived on Greek islands seeking asylum in 2019, compared to 32,494 in the previous year.

The majority originally departed from Turkey, and Greek officials have grown frustrated with what they believe to be Turkey's failure to hold their end of a migration deal signed in 2016 between Ankara and Brussels. In August, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias summoned the Turkish ambassador in Athens to express disappointment with the situation.

Under the terms of the deal, Ankara is obliged to help stem the tide of migrants traveling through Turkey to reach the European Union, in exchange for the accommodation of Syrian refugees in Europe on a one-for-one basis. The European Union is providing 6 billion Euros ($6.6 billion) in aid to Turkey under this agreement.

Your Thoughts and Comments