Greece ignored migrant boat help offer - EU border agency Frontex


The European Union's border agency Frontex has said it received "no response" when it offered aerial support to Greek authorities shortly before a migrant vessel capsized, leaving at least 82 people dead.

The vessel sank off the coast of Greece earlier this month and hundreds were reported missing, casting a spotlight on authorities and whether they could have intervened to halt the disaster.

"Frontex offered additional aerial support to Greek authorities on 13 June but received no response," its press office said.

It also added that Frontex offered to move forward with a scheduled patrol, but Greek authorities asked it to instead attend a search and rescue operation off Crete.

Earlier that day, the Italian coordination centre (MRCC) directed the Frontex plane to look for the fishing vessel with migrants on board at 8.33 am and the aircraft spotted it at 8.47 am.

"The plane was monitoring the fishing vessel for ten minutes before it had to return to base for refuelling," Frontex said.

The trawler packed with migrants capsized in the Ionian Sea near Greece's Peloponnese peninsula on the night of 13 June after setting sail from Libya towards Europe.

"Hundreds" were reported missing, according to some of the 104 survivors.

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