At least 15 people have been confirmed dead after two boats carrying migrants capsized in Greek waters, and rescuers are still searching for dozens of individuals who are still missing as of early Thursday morning, the Greek authorities reported.
After a dinghy carrying approximately 40 passengers went down near the eastern island of Lesbos, the coast guard reported that 15 dead had been retrieved in the area. There were a total of five persons saved, three of whom were found on a rocky outcrop close to the location where the vessel sank.
Several hundred kilometers (miles) to the west, close to the island of Kythira, a second rescue operation was initiated after a sailboat that was carrying approximately one hundred migrants capsized late on Wednesday night.
After hitting rocks a short distance from the small port of Diakofti located on the eastern side of the island, officials said that thirty persons had been saved. The region experienced winds of up to 70 kilometers per hour (45 mph).
“We could see the boat crashing into the cliffs, and people climbing up those rocks in an attempt to save themselves,” said one witness. An eyewitness who lives in the area named Martha Stathaki described the scene to the Associated Press as “an incredible sight.” “Every single person who lives here made their way down to the harbour to provide a hand.”
Rescue workers from the fire department lowered ropes to assist migrants in climbing up cliffs along the coast. The people who were rescued will be housed in a local school, according to the officials who are in charge of the area. Thursday was also anticipated to see the arrival of Navy divers.
— Ali Chouhdary (@AliChouhdary81) October 6, 2022
The majority of migrants that enter Greece do so via Turkey, which is Greece’s neighbour, nevertheless, human traffickers have altered their tactics in recent months to circumvent the heavily monitored waters that surround Greek islands that are located close to the Turkish shoreline.
Smugglers frequently take this route to avoid having to go through Greece and go straight to Italy. Kythira is located approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the west of Turkey.
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