Five sailboats and four inflatables returned to the Turkish coast on Monday afternoon due to the efforts of the Greek Coast Guard. One of them tried to ram a Greek Greek coast guard vessel.
Greece has said it has prevented about 600 migrants from crossing the Aegean into its territorial waters from neighbouring Turkey, according to the state broadcaster and other media.
A spokesman for the Greek coastguard on Monday told the AFP news agency that five sail boats and four dinghies had set off from the Turkish coast early in the morning.
All boats were under constant surveillance by boats and ships of the Greek coast guard, which did not allow them to enter the territorial waters of the country until the Turkish coast guard was informed about the incident. In one case, a sailboat carrying migrants tried to ram a Coast Guard boat, but was unsuccessful.
Two of the boats returned to Turkish shores on their own, while the remaining three arrived accompanied by the Turkish Coast Guard, which in one case even took the passengers from the boat. Another 140 people aboard four inflatable ships were picked up by the Turkish Coast Guard and returned to Turkish shores.
Statement Greek Coast Guard:
For several hours since early morning today, 23/05/2022, there has been particular tension in the more expansive maritime zone between the prefectures of Chios and Samos, with five incidents in which sailing craft with a sufficient number of foreigners on board attempted to enter Greek territorial waters. They set off from the Turkish coast and ended up on the Italian coast. At the same time, four inflatable boats with foreign passengers were found in the area that also tried to enter the territorial waters of Greece. The total number of passengers on board the nine vessels exceeds five hundred and ninety (590).
In all of the above incidents, maritime vessels, as well as Greek Coast Guard patrol boats, were in the marine zone and kept under close surveillance.