Greek ships rescue 87 migrants off Corfu

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Greek ships rescued a total of 87 migrants on Friday SW of Corfu, near Paxi islands under the coordination of the Greek Shipping Ministry's Unified Search & Rescue Centre.

According to Port Authorities, the migrants were expected to be transported to the Igoumenitsa port.

The rescue comes after 21 migrants died when their boat sank of the Greek island of Lesvos last week with residents pulling survivors to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues.

The Greek coast guard said 16 bodies of young African women and one young man were recovered there after a dinghy carrying about 40 people sank.

Ten women were rescued, while 13 other migrants were believed to be missing, coast guard officials said.

“The women who were rescued were in a full state of panic so we are still trying to work out what happened,” coast guard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas told state television. “The women were all from African countries, aged 20 upward. There is a search on land as well as at sea and we hope that survivors made it to land,” he added.

The second rescue effort was launched several hundred kilometres to the west, off the island of Kythira, where a sailboat struck rocks and sank.