Greece’s Athens-Search and rescue operations are underway on Friday near the Greek island of Lesvos along the maritime boundary with Turkey after the sinking of an inflatable dinghy carrying migrants, officials said.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, 10 people were thought to have been rescued and three more missing.
According to the Coast Guard, two Coast Guard patrol boats, one from the European Border and Coast Guard Frontex, one helicopter, two aircraft, and vessels navigating nearby were involved in the search. The Turkish Coast Guard was also informed of the incident.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, the dinghy appeared to have sunk in Turkish waters, with one survivor initially swimming in Greek waters and taken over by Greek authorities. Since then, nine more have been rescued from Turkish waters, they said.
Survivors told authorities that there were a total of 13 people when the dinghy sank. Their nationality was not immediately available.
In a parliamentary statement, Immigration Minister Notis Mitarachi said Turkey was unable to rescue passengers. 10 people. “
Greece has been one of the most popular gateways to the European Union for many years for those fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The majority try to reach the Greek islands near the Turkish coast. Often done in dangerously crowded inflatable dinghys or non-nautical boats.
Mr. Mitarachi emphasized that Greece protects the border and that migrants entering the Greek islands from the Turkish coast are 96% less in the last 12 months compared to the last 12 months. ..
Rights groups and migrants have repeatedly accused Greece of illegally deporting those who arrived on the island without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum. Greek officials strongly deny that they carry out pushbacks, but say they are patrolling the border tightly.
“Government policy is clear. We don’t want to be a gateway for smuggling networks into the European Union,” says Mitarachi. “We have rejected hundreds of millions of euros from human pain smugglers operating east of our country. Our country has a land-sea border.”