Global News

Hundreds missing as boat capsizes off Greece

Hundreds missing as boat capsizes off Greece

ATHENS-Greece's coast guard has recovered four dead bodies from the sea after a boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized south of the Greek island of Crete, though many more people could be missing.

The migration organization said that the capsized boat was believed to have been carrying 700 people and was thought to have left from Egypt. By midday, 340 people had been rescued and four bodies recovered.

About half of the 25-metre-long boat was completely underwater, the spokeswoman added.

He said it was not clear how many were aboard the vessel but that based on a first assessment it was unlikely to have carried many more than those rescued so far. With 3,771 deaths, 2015 was the deadliest year on record for crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, the IOM has said.

Greek Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Lagadianos has refrained from giving numbers on the migrants and refugees who are believed to have been on board the ship which was located some 120 km off the port Kali Limenes.

The International Organisation for Migration said its observations suggest migrants and traffickers are moving from the traditional routes between Turkey and Greece to new ones from north Africa, sometimes via Crete.

Judge in Stanford sex assault case called fair, respected
Turner's father has drawn criticism for a letter he wrote in which he seems to dismiss the crime as "20 minutes of action". In her statement , the woman described how the attack had left her emotionally scarred and "not want (her) body anymore".

Some 204,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since January, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday.

A rescue operation is under way for migrants aboard a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea early Friday, according to Greek officials.

Although officials have expressed doubt that the vessel found near the coast of Crete left from Africa, they are still not clear where it originated from.

The number of people drowning is "huge", with dozens washing ashore each week, he said.

Today's tragedy marked the second migrant boat found in that area of the southern Aegean Sea since last week, indicating that people smugglers may be forging a possible new route. The short crossing from the Turkish coast to Greek islands was the preferred route for migrants heading to Europe until Balkan countries closed their borders.

Almost 400 people, including 14 Syrians who asked to be sent back, have since been returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, where they arrived in smugglers' boats after March 20. It is not unusual for the boats to break down or sink before reaching Europe.

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