Sixteen African women died in shipwreck off Lesvos - "Urgent call to Turkey to take immediate action"


Sixteen young women of African origin were recovered dead, according to the latest report from the shipwreck of a boat full migrants in the Petalidi sea area of ​​Thermi in eastern Lesvos.

Their boat sank early this morning in the sea area east of the island, while at the same time a Greek Coast Guard operation is underway, which began for the first time in Kythira after the sinking of a sailboat full of illegal immigrants.

All nine rescued women, from near Lesvos, are young women of African descent and were taken to Mytilini Hospital, where they were given first aid.

In total, there were about 40 people on board the boat in Lesvos, according to the migrants.

As of 8am on Thursday, and while the bodies of the dead women are being transferred to the morgue, the Coast Guard, the Greek Police, the Fire Brigade and the Army with the help of a Super Puma helicopter of the Air Force are operating in the area, still looking for at least 15 more missing persons.

The migrant boat, as estimated, left late on Wednesday night from the ​​Ayasmat area near Aivali (Αϊβαλί, Turkish: Ayvalı) in Turkey, under particularly unfavourable conditions as in the sea strait between Lesvos and the Asia Minor coast had intense winds.

The announcement of the Coast Guard about the shipwreck in Lesvos

In the early hours of the morning, the Port Authority of Mytilene was informed by the Greek Army about a sunken boat with a large number of foreigners on board, in the sea area "Provoskida" east of Lesvos.

According to the occupants of the boat, there were approximately forty people on board. So far, five people have been rescued and fifteen bodies have been recovered, while three are trapped in a rocky precipitous area.

The searches also extend to the wider land area for migrants who have reportedly escaped to land.

Statement by Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi

"Urgent call to Turkey to take immediate action to prevent all irregular departures due to harsh weather conditions. Already today many lives lost in the Aegean, people are drowning in unseaworthy vessels. EU must act."

Meanwhile, rescuers are searching for dozens of people still missing after two boats carrying migrants capsized in Greek waters, killing at least 15 people.

After a dinghy carrying approximately 40 people sank late on Wednesday, the coast guard said that 15 remains had been found close to the Lesbos island in the east.

Three of the five passengers who were found on a rocky outcrop close to where the ship sank were among the five who were saved.

A second rescue operation was started hundreds of miles to the west, close to the island of Kythira when a sailboat carrying about 100 migrants capsized late on Wednesday after colliding with rocks.

After that boat ran aground near the east coast of the island's tiny port of Diakofti, authorities reported that 30 passengers had been saved.

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Migrant boats sink off Greece, leaving 15 dead

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